Turk Elected President as Slovenia Prepares for EU Presidency

Turk Elected President as Slovenia Prepares for EU Presidency

After emerging victorious from a Nov. 11 runoff against Christian democrat first-round winner Alojz Peterle -- prime minister when the country declared independence in 1991, and the favorite of the center-right government of Janez Jansa -- left-leaning Danilo Turk will become Slovenia's next president.

Despite coming second in the first round on Oct. 21, Turk garnered two-thirds of the vote in the runoff, largely thanks to votes transferred from Central Bank governor Mitja Gaspari, a fellow left winger he narrowly beat. In the first ballot, Peterle won overall with 28.7 percent, while Turk had 24.5 percent and Gaspari 24.1 percent.

Turk will take over from Janez Drnovsek, leader of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) party, and president since December 2002. The country's first and only other president was Milan Kucan, who assumed the newly created role in October 1991.

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