EU Nation Makes Historic Pick

Natasa Pirc Musar will be Slovenia's first female head of state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 13, 2022 2:20 PM CST
Slovenia Elects Woman Head of State for the First Time
Liberal candidate Natasa Pirc Musarat addresses the media Sunday after voting, outside a polling station in Radomlje near Ljubljana, Slovenia.   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

Liberal rights advocate Natasa Pirc Musar won a runoff Sunday to become Slovenia's first female head of state, and said her first task would be to bridge a deep left-right divide in the Alpine nation of 2 million. With nearly all of the votes counted in the small European Union nation, Pirc Musar led conservative former Foreign Minister Anze Logar by 54% to 46%. Her victory boosts the country's liberal bloc following the center-left coalition victory in Slovenia’s parliamentary election in April, the AP reports. "My first task will be to open a dialogue among all Slovenians," she said as her election team celebrated.

Logar conceded defeat, saying he hopes Pirc Musar "will carry out all the promises" that she has made during the campaign. Pirc Musar, 54, will be the first woman to serve as president since Slovenia became independent during the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. A prominent lawyer, Pirc Musar had represented former US first lady Melania Trump in copyright and other cases in her native Slovenia. She trailed Logar in the first round of voting two weeks ago. But since none of the seven contenders who competed in the first round managed to gather more than 50% of the ballots to claim outright victory, Logar and Pirc Musar went forward to a runoff.

Pirc Musar will succeed President Borut Pahor, a centrist politician who had already served two terms in office. While the presidency is largely ceremonial in Slovenia, the head of state still is seen as a person of authority. Presidents nominate prime ministers and members of the constitutional court, who are then elected in parliament, and appoints members of the anti-corruption commission.

(Read more Slovenia stories.)

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