Slovenia’s internet-savvy President Borut Pahor won the second term in a runoff vote that was marred by an abysmally low turnout. Centre-left ex-premier Pahor, 54, had been touted to win in October, but a record low 44-percent turnout triggered a repeat vote, with 1.7 million people called back to the ballot box.
According to near-complete results, Pahor, who took 47.1 percent in the first round, garnered 53.1 percent of the ballot in which turnout was around 40.1 percent. His rival Marjan Sarec, a 39-year-old former comic actor and now a local Mayor portraying himself as anti-establishment, gained 46.9 percent. He had 24.9 percent in the first round.
The presidency is largely ceremonial in the small EU country. Pahor stepped down as prime minister in 2011 after his government collapsed at the height of the global financial crisis that drove euro-zone member Slovenia close to need a bailout. Slovenia now boasts one of the EU’s most impressive growth rates, with four percent growth forecast for 2018.