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The Latest: Slovenian President Says He's the Populist

The Latest: Slovenian President Says He's the Populist

Sunday, 12 November 2017 06:46 AM

BLED, Slovenia (AP) — The Latest on Slovenia's presidential runoff on Sunday (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor says the campaign for the presidential runoff has led to a "change of roles" between him and his challenger, Marjan Sarec.

Pahor said Sunday that he has been promoting populism while his opponent — a relative newcomer — is trying to assume the role of a "statesman." Pahor says the outcome will show how Slovenian voters have reacted to this.

Pahor led by a large margin after the first round of voting on Oct. 22, but Sarec has managed to narrow the gap. Sunday's race is expected to be close.

Critics have accused Pahor — a former model known as the "King of Instagram" for his frequent use of social media — of downgrading the office by turning himself into a celebrity. Sarec is a mayor who was once a comic.

11:25 a.m.

The challenger in Slovenia's presidential election runoff says he is confident that he could win the vote against President Borut Pahor, a veteran politician seeking re-election.

Marjan Sarec said upon voting Sunday that "I wouldn't have run for the position if I hadn't thought I could be elected." Sarec has urged voters to produce a high turnout.

The 39-year-old is the mayor of the northern town of Kamnik who has mounted an unexpected challenge to Pahor. The incumbent had a strong lead after the first round of voting on Oct. 22, but Sarec has managed to narrow the gap.

A former satirical comedian, Sarec gave up acting to enter politics in 2010. He is serving his second term as mayor.

8 a.m.

Voters in Slovenia are casting ballots in a presidential runoff, with President Borut Pahor's bid for re-election facing a tough challenge from an ex-comedian who's now the mayor of a northern town.

Pahor, a veteran politician known for his frequent use of social media, led by a large margin after the first round of voting on Oct. 22. But his runoff opponent, Marjan Sarec, has since narrowed the gap and the latest polls predict a close race Sunday.

The president in Slovenia holds no executive powers but they propose a prime minister and their opinion on important issues holds weight.

Slovenia, a country of 2 million people in Central Europe, is known for its Alpine mountains and lakes and its love of nature. It is the birthplace of U.S. first lady Melania Trump.

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Europe
The Latest on Slovenia's presidential runoff on Sunday (all times local):12:20 p.m.Slovenian President Borut Pahor says the campaign for the presidential runoff has led to a "change of roles" between him and his challenger, Marjan Sarec.Pahor said Sunday that he has been...
EU,Slovenia,Presidential Election,The Latest
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2017-46-12
Sunday, 12 November 2017 06:46 AM
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