The Slovenia Times

Presidential Race is On



Three Serious Candidates

Candidates who decide to run with the backing of MPs must persuade 10 deputies, while independents have to get the support of at least 5,000 voters. Among the nine hopefuls who announced their bids, seven will be running with the support of voters, including three favourites, incumbent President Danilo Türk; former Prime Minister, Borut Pahor, who is running with the backing of the Social Democrats (SD) although he also announced that he would support his nomination with the signatures of at least 3,000 voters; whilst the ruling Democrats (SDS) supports MEP Milan Zver, who is also backed by the junior coalition member New Slovenia (NSi). After filing their bids with the DVK, the candidates will have until 22 October to withdraw their nomination, while the commission will publish the list of official candidates by 26 October. The candidates must also appoint organisers of their campaigns who will have until 27 September to open a special campaign bank account, which must then be closed within four months. The organisers will also have to ensure that the campaign will abide by campaign legislation. The official campaign is to start on 12 October and will run until 9 November when the media blackout before the election starts. Under the legislation, the campaigns cannot be funded by budget funds or funds granted by companies in which the state owns more than 25%. Additionally, campaign budgets are capped at EUR 0.25 per Slovenian voter in the first round of voting, while candidates that get to the run-off can raise an additional EUR 0.15 per voter. Campaign organisers of the candidates who receive at least 10% of votes in the election get refunded EUR 0.12 per vote.

Second Round

Parliamentary Speaker, Gregor Virant, announced the first round of the presidential ballot for 11 November, while the run-off will most likely be held on 2 December should none of the candidates win a majority in the first round. The run-off will be held between the two candidates who get the most votes in the first round. This will be Slovenia's fifth presidential election since independence. The first race took place in 1992 when Milan Kučan, who served two consecutive five year terms, won in the first round. Kučan, who won in a landslide with 63.93%, followed his first success with a 55.57% first-round victory five years later. The late Janez Drnovšek, who succeeded Kučan to become only the second president in over a decade of Slovenia's independence, was the first president to win the election in a run-off. Drnovšek won the run-off against Barbara Brezigar, the then supreme state prosecutor, whom he beat with 56.52% of the vote. In the 2007 presidential election, incumbent Türk also went through two rounds of voting, standing against veteran conservative politician Lojze Peterle in the run-off. Türk came from behind in the first round to beat the prime minister of Slovenia's first government in the run-off with 68% of the vote. In the first round, Peterle received 28.73% of the vote, while Türk just managed to get into the run-off with 24.47%, ahead of rival left-leaning candidate Mitja Gaspari who got 24.09%.

Latest Polls

After it became clear that there will be three serious candidates for the President of the Republic, the various media started measuring public opinion. The results of the polls differ considerably but the trend is very clear. Current President, Danilo Türk, is definitely favourite for the first round but it's not very likely that he can receive more than 50% of the votes and win on 11 November. Very interesting could be the second round where we can expect Borut Pahor could be very strong competition for the current president because many voters from the right could give their vote to Pahor who is positioning himself as a centre candidate.


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