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Slovenia - Presidential Election

Natasa Pirc Musar becomes the first female President of the Republic of Slovenia

Natasa Pirc Musar becomes the first female President of the Republic of Slovenia

15/11/2022 - Results - 2nd round

Tradition was respected in Slovenia where the left-wing forces retained the presidency of the Republic, a position they have held since the country's independence on 25 June 1991. Natasa Pirc Musar won the presidential election on 13 November in the second round of voting with 53.86% of the vote. The lawyer, who was commissioner for access to public information (ombudsman) between 2004 and 2014, ran as an independent candidate but was supported by former heads of state Milan Kucan (1991-2002) and Danilo Turk (2007-2012) as well as by Igor Jurisic's Youth Party-European Greens (SMS) and the Pirate Party. She was supported by the left-wing forces.

She defeated Anze Logar (Democratic Party, SDS), former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2020-2022) in the government of Janez Jansa (SDS), who garnered 46.14% of the vote. He came out ahead in the first round on 23 October with 33.95% of the vote.

However, Natasa Pirc Musar had a large reserve of votes and was the favourite for the presidential election.

A little more than half of the Slovenians went to the polls (53%), more than in the first round (+ 1.27 points).

Results of the presidential elections 23 October and 13 November 2022 in Slovenia

Turnout: 51.73% (1st round) and 53% (2nd round)

Source : Electoral Commission

Natasa Pirc Musar called for unity. "My first action will be to invite all the leaders of the political parties to the presidential palace," she said when the results were announced.
During her election campaign, she said she saw her position as that of a "moral authority". "The President of the Republic cannot be neutral, he must have an opinion (...) I have never been afraid to make my voice heard," she said. The new President of the Republic reaffirmed her "confidence in the European Union and in the democratic values on which it was founded".

Natasa Pirc Musar's victory shows the continuity of support for the moderate left-wing camp in Slovenia after the parliamentary elections on 24 April.

Between the two rounds of the presidential elections, Natasa Pirc Musar won the support of Prime Minister Robert Golob (Movement for Freedom, GS) and her partners in government: the Social Democrats (SD), led by Tanja Fajon, and The Left (Levica), led by Luka Mesec.
According to a survey conducted by the Ninamedia Institute in the last days of October, 84.3% of those who voted in the first round for MEP Milan Brglez, a candidate supported by the Movement for Freedom and the Social Democrats, were prepared to give their vote to Natasa Pirc Musar in the second round. Almost all the voters of Miha Kordis (Levica) and more than half of those of the mayor of Kocevje, Vladmir Prebilic (56.90%) said they were ready to follow them. Finally, according to the poll, the majority of those undecided preferred Natasa Pirc Musar.

The party led by Matej Tonin, New Slovenia (NSi), was the only one to express support for Anze Logar.

Moderate voters undoubtedly voted against the Democratic Party candidate. He admitted defeat. "I expect Natasa Pirc Musar to be everyone's president, that's what Slovenia needs," he said.
"Anze Logar has a track record of more than 20 years of service in a highly hierarchical party where everyone answers to the president (Janez Jansa), which suggests that he risks being a mere puppet if elected," warned Uros Esih, a journalist with the daily Delo, during the campaign. "Anze Logar has obviously been blindsided by his past proximity to the controversial former Prime Minister Janez Jansa. The presidential election has once again confirmed the vote against Janez Jansa. Anze Logar is not the true loser tonight, it is Janez Jansa who has lost the most this evening," said Vlado Miheljak, professor of political sociology at the University of Ljubljana.

Natasa Pirc Musar, 54, from Ljubljana, is a lawyer with a degree in law from the University of Ljubljana and the University of Vienna in Austria. She started her career as a journalist at the public television Radiotelevizija Slovenija, where she presented the news, and later worked for the private channel POPTV.
In 2003, she became director of the Centre for Education and Information at the Supreme Court. From 2004 to 2014, she was Commissioner for Access to Public Information. Between 2012 and 2014, she held the position of President of the Joint Supervisory Body of Europol.
Natasa Pirc Musar then founded her own law firm specialising in privacy issues. She defends, among others, Melania Trump (wife of US President Donald Trump (2016-2020) who is of Slovenian origin).

On 13 November, Natasa Pirc Musar became the first woman to become President of the Republic of Slovenia.
The new head of state will be sworn in on 23 December. She will succeed Borut Pahor who was not eligible for re-election.
Publishing Director: Pascale JOANNIN
The author
Corinne Deloy
Author of the European Elections Monitor (EEM) for the Robert Schuman Foundation and project manager at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).
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