SLOVENIA: On Sunday, Slovenians flocked to the polling booths to cast their presidential ballots in a political standoff between former TV presenter Natasa Pirc Musar and far-right winger Andze Logar, the results of which could produce the nation’s first female president.
Although Logar stood first in the first round on October 23, opinion polls on Sunday highly favored Pirc Musar, an independent candidate who has secured the ruling coalition’s support in the election runoff.
Polling stations close at 7 pm (1800 GMT), and the first results are expected to turn up two hours later.
The president’s role is primarily ceremonial. However, the president is authorized to lead the army and also nominate key officials, including the central bank governor. Most of the nominations have to be affirmed by the parliament.
An opinion poll conducted by the Ninamedia agency published in the daily Dnevnik on Friday showed Pirc Musar winning a fair majority of 51.2% of the votes, with Logar gaining 48.8%.
“I expect the next president to care about us, the citizens, to represent Slovenia in a good manner,” Uros Pinter said after casting his ballot in Ljubljana. “I think it is time for a female president.”
Besides being a former TV presenter, Pirc Musar is now an influential lawyer who advocates change on social issues, including human rights, the rule of law, and social welfare.
“Pirc Musar’s victory would signify continued voter support for moderate center-left politicians in the country, which until recently was governed by a right-wing populist government led by Janez Jansa,” Teneo consultancy said in a note on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Logar, a far-right politician, focused more on traditional family customs and Christian values in the dominant Roman Catholic country. His election campaign slogan was: “Let’s work together for the future.”