Lawyer Pirc Musar, first woman elected president of Slovenia

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L&rsquo ;lawyer Pirc Musar, first woman elected president of Slovenia

Natasa Pirc Musar is the first woman to hold the post of President of 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, garnered 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 enamelled mandate of demonstrations of ex-prime minister Janez Jansa, Natasa Pirc Musar called for unity and turning the page on 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 around the capital Ljubljana, before popping the champagne .

And after tensions with Jansa-era 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.

Slovenes turned out in relatively large numbers at the polls, with a turnout higher than in 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 as a liberal, highlighted her desire to give more substance to this essentially ceremonial post.

The president cannot be neutral, he must have an opinion, be a moral authority, she underlined in between rounds, questioned by AFP . I was never afraid to raise my voice, she said.

Outgoing Head of State Borut Pahor, who could not represent after two five-year terms, has often been criticized for his passive attitude towards Janez Jansa.

Ex-television presenter Natasa Pirc Musar rose to prominence as head of the Slovenian Data Protection Authority in the 2000s.

A tireless class defender politician, she opened her law firm in 2016, regularly scouring TV shows as an expert.

Passionate about motorcycles, she was the target from attacks because of her husband's lucrative investment activities, especially in tax havens.

Without the support of an established party, she felt on Sunday that she had had a more difficult campaign than her rivals, even though Liberal Prime Minister Robert Golob gave her his support after the first round.

I was called a careerist, you would never say that of a man, she had castigated before, wanting to be the voice of women in Slovenia and abroad.

This is a new setback for the conservatives who dreamed of revenge after their heavy defeat in the April legislative elections.

Anze Logar, 46, sent his 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 been careful 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 .

The courteous candidate, who never leaves his bike, had led a moderate campaign, far from the radical positions against the media and the justice of the Jansa government, which he made party from 2020 to 2022.

But he was overtaken by his past closeness to the controversial ex-prime minister, the big loser of the evening, sums up political analyst Vlado Miheljak.

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