The Slovenia Times

Presidential Election: Pahor, Türk Enter Run-off




Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor, who is running for the opposition Social Democrats (SD) but has also been endorsed by the junior coalition Citizens' List (DL), was born in Postojna in 1963. He graduated from the Ljubljana Faculty of Sociology, Political Science and Journalism in 1987.

He entered politics in 1990, becoming a delegate of the then Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. In 1992, 1996 and 2000, Pahor was elected an MP in the National Assembly.

He became the president of the United List of Social Democrats (now SD) in 1997 and served as the parliamentary speaker from 2000 until 2004, when he was elected an MEP.

Following the victory of the SD in the 2008 general election, Pahor became the prime minister and led the country until the early election in 2011 where his party suffered a heavy defeat after failing to push through unpopular structural reforms.

Pahor currently serves as an MP after Igor Lukšič beat him to the presidency of his party earlier this year.

Having led the popularity rankings for a number of years up until becoming prime minister, Pahor's leadership is considered to lack determination and he is seen at times an obstinate politician. He has labelled himself the only candidate able to overcome ideological divisions.

Pahor has a son, Luka, with Tanja Pečar.


Türk, running as an independent, has been endorsed by the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) and junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS).

He was born in Maribor in 1952 and obtained a PhD from the Ljubljana Faculty of Law with a thesis on the principle of non-intervention in international law in 1982.

The incumbent was later employed as an international law professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law and was the director of the Institute for International Law of the University of Ljubljana.

In the mid-1980s he cooperated with Amnesty International, reporting on human rights issues in Yugoslavia, while he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights between 1986 and 1992.

In 1992, he became Slovenia's first permanent representative to the United Nations, a post he held until 2000, when he became the UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs to Kofi Annan (until 2005).

In November 2007, Türk became Slovenia's third president, beating Lojze Peterle in the second round of the election with some 68% of the vote, the highest share of the vote ever in a presidential election.

Türk also became the first president to have faced impeachment procedures over a controversial decoration of former secret police chief Tomaž Ertl. The impeachment, lodged by at the time opposition Democrats (SDS) in 2010, was rejected in parliament.

He is married to Barbara Miklič Türk and they have a daughter, Helena.


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