The people of Slovenia are voting for their next President as the country prepares to assume Europe’s rotating presidency on January 1st. It is a largely-ceremonial position, but the head of state will take a prominent role on the European stage during the first six months of next year.
Since independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 Slovenia’s Presidents have been left-leaning. But the favourite now is conservative former Prime Minister Lojze Peterle. Some 38 percent of voters indicated they would prefer him.
Ranged against Peterle are two men with support from the left. Diplomat Danilo Turk, who has worked closely with the former United Nations’ chief Kofi Annan, is credited with 24 percent of the polls, while the one-time central bank governor Mitja Gaspari commands around 22 percent. Outgoing President Janez Drnovsek decided not to stand for a second five-year term.