Slovenia has elected former centre-left prime minister Borut Pahor to the largely ceremonial post of president in a run-off for the job.
His rival, incumbent President Danilo Turk only secured around 33 per cent of the vote compared to Pahor’s 67 per cent.
Turk was quick to congratulate the victor who becomes president as the country struggles in one of the eurozone’s deepest recessions.
A poor turnout of less than 42 per cent reflects a widespread rejection of swingeing austerity measures.
President-elect Pahor called for unity in tackling the economic crisis.
“Your confidence has a message,” he said. “The message is that there must be a way out of all the colossal difficulties we are facing. We must and will find a way out together.”
Slovenia has been hit by a wave of protests in recent weeks over public sector spending cuts and alleged corruption. On Friday 30 people were arrested and at least 15 injured in clashes between protesters and police. Pahor’s election is not expected to put an end to the unrest.