Prominent Slovenian lawyer and liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar has won the country’s presidential election, defeating right-wing politician Anze Logar in a runoff vote. Musar, who has been endorsed by Slovenia’s ruling left-wing coalition, won Sunday’s election by a comfortable margin, with some 54% of the votes. She will be the country’s first female president.
“My first task will be to open a dialogue among all Slovenians. In the democratic election, Slovenians have shown what kind of a country they want,” Musar said in her victory speech.
“All my life, I’ve advocated the same values: democracy, human rights, tolerance. It’s time to stop dealing with the past. Many things have to be done in the future,” she said.
During her campaign, Musar pledged to bridge the deep right-left split in Slovenian society. Her opponent, the veteran conservative politician and former foreign minister Logar, has conceded defeat, and expressed hope Musar would live by her pledge and “carry out all the promises” she made during the campaign.
Logar served under former right-wing prime minister, Janez Jansa, who was ousted from power during the parliamentary election in April, which led to the formation of the current ruling coalition of left-leaning parties.
Slovenia became independent in 1991 amid the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Musar will succeed the outgoing president, Borut Pahor – a centrist politician who had already served the two consecutive terms allowed under Slovenian law.
The new president is probably best known internationally for her legal work, and particularly for representing the former US first lady, Slovenian-born Melania Trump, in copyright infringement and other high-profile cases.
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