Exit polls show left-wing former Prime Minister Borut Pahor winning Slovenia’s presidential election by a landslide.
The surveys of voters gives Mr. Pahor 67 percent of the vote in Sunday’s runoff, to incumbent President Danilo Turk’s 33 percent. Official results are expected later Sunday.
Mr. Pahor called his apparent win a time of new hope and urged all Slovenians to show trust, respect and tolerance for one another.
The Slovenian presidency is a largely ceremonial job.
Slovenia emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia peaceful and prosperous, compared to the other former republics. But the Slovenian economy, which depends on revenue from exports, has soured since the 2008 global recession. The country is struggling to avoid asking for a bailout.
The conservative-led government has cut many social benefits along with salaries for government workers, in order to shrink the budget deficit.
A large protest against budget cuts last week turned violent with at least 15 people hurt.
(Photo: Richter-Frank Jurgen)