The Slovenia Times

President Türk Declares Re-election Bid


Making the announcement in a video address on his web site, Türk said he was a non-partisan president and would run as an independent candidate, with the support of voters from "all parts of Slovenia and all segments of society".

Türk, who already stood as an independent in the 2007 election with the endorsement of the Social Democrats (SD), Zares and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), will need to collect 5,000 voter signatures in support of his bid.

He said he had had broad consultations before making the decision and that many had told him his standing for a second term was natural and expected.

"Many have noticed that throughout my term, I've been working sincerely and to the best of my abilities for the benefit of our people, for the common good of our country," the president said.

He added that he had always followed his principles, conscience and transparently.

Although he will stand as an independent, he expressed readiness to cooperate "with all parties and all people of good will for the benefit of Slovenia".

Türk called for a fair distribution of the burden in the efforts to overcome the economic turmoil.

"We must preserve and enhance fundamental social values such as solidarity, help to fellow human beings, creativity and capacity for prudent risk-taking. We need to preserve the principles of welfare state and develop them to respond to the challenges of time."

The president also called for a tolerant, sober and rational political debate. "We must strengthen the rule of law and eliminate corruption. We must develop proper intergenerational solidarity."

He said young people should be secured better education and employment prospects, while old people should be guaranteed conditions for a safe and dignified old age.

Slovenia's goal should be to place among the most advanced, successful and just countries in the world.

"We need more trust in ourselves and our fellow citizens, more confidence and optimism. To this I have dedicated my work so far and my bid for a second term as president," Türk said.

A former career diplomat with a doctorate in law, Türk was born in Maribor on 19 February 1952. He was Slovenia's first ambassador to the UN and an aide to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan between 2000 and 2005.

He was elected president in the run-off election in 2007 with 68% of the vote, his contender Lojze Peterle winning 32%.

Türk's first term was marked by acrimonious relations with the Democrats (SDS), the party of the incumbent PM Janez Janša, which failed in its attempt at impeachment over his decorating of a Communist-era official.

The only other candidate to announce a bid for the presidential election so far is Milan Zver, who will stand on behalf of the ruling Democrats (SDS).


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