Lawyer Pirc Musar, first woman elected president in Slovenia

Slovenia elected a renowned lawyer new to politics as president on Sunday, Natasa Pirc Musar, the first woman to lead the Alpine country. The 54-year-old independent candidate, who in the past represented the interests of former American First Lady Melania Trump, of Slovenian origin, collected nearly 54% of the voting intentions, according to the results published by the Electoral Commission.

She clearly distances her conservative rival Anze Logar (46%), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and winner of the first round on October 23. In a country divided after the protest-ridden tenure of former Prime Minister Janez Jansa, Natasa Pirc Musar called for “unite» and to turn the page of «disputes“. “My first action will be to invite all the leaders of the political parties to the presidential palace“, she declared Sunday evening in front of hundreds of supporters gathered in the surroundings of the capital Ljubljana, before opening the champagne.

And after Jansa-era tensions with Brussels, she insisted on her confidence “in the European Union and the democratic values ​​on which it was founded“. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen immediately hailed the victory. “As the first woman elected to the presidency, you are paving the way for future generations“, she tweeted.

“The voice of women”

The Slovenians turned out in relatively large numbers at the polls, with a turnout higher than that of the first round (53%), in this country of 2 million inhabitants, from the former Yugoslavia and member of the EU since 2004. During the campaign, Natasa Pirc Musar, who defines herself asliberal“, highlighted his desire to give more substance to this essentially ceremonial position. “The president cannot be neutral, he must have an opinion“, be “a moral authority“, she underlined in the between-two rounds, questioned by AFP. “I’ve never been afraid to raise my voice“, did she say.

Outgoing head of state Borut Pahor, who could not stand for re-election after two five-year terms, has often been criticized for his passive attitude towards Janez Jansa. A former television presenter, Natasa Pirc Musar made a name for herself by directing the Slovenian Data Protection Authority in the 2000s. A tireless defender of the political class, she opened her law firm in 2016, regularly scouring TV sets as an expert.

Passionate about motorcycles, she has been the target of attacks because of her husband’s lucrative investment activities, especially in tax havens. Without the support of aestablished party“, she estimated on Sunday to have lived”a tougher campaignthan his rivals even though Liberal Prime Minister Robert Golob gave him his support after the first round. “I was called a careerist, you would never say that of a man“, she had lambasted before, wanting to be”women’s voicein Slovenia and abroad.

Conservative backhand

This is a new setback for the conservatives who dreamed of revenge after their heavy defeat in the legislative elections in April. Anze Logar, 46, sent her congratulations to her rival, who will be officially sworn in on December 23. “I expect her to be the president of all of us, that’s what Slovenia needs“, he reacted. To win, this tenor of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of Janez Jansa had taken care to keep his distance, with the exception of a brief appearance side by side of the two men on the evening of the first round.

Without label, unifying slogan: the courteous candidate, who never separates from his bike, had led a campaign “moderate“, far from the radical positions against the media and justice of the Jansa government – ​​of which he was a part from 2020 to 2022. But he was overtaken by his past closeness with the controversial ex-Prime Minister, “the big loser of the eveningsums up political analyst Vlado Miheljak.

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