ElectionIn Slovenia, a media lawyer becomes the first female president
Natasa Birk Musar collected 54% of voting intentions on Sunday, comprising more than half of the votes counted during the second round of the presidential election.
Slovenia’s president on Sunday elected political newcomer Natasa Birk Musar, the first woman to lead the Alpine nation, according to partial results.
Call for unity
The 54-year-old lawyer, who in the past represented the interests of Melania Trump, the former US first lady of Slovenian descent, collected 54% of voting intentions, according to more than half of the polls. His conservative rival was Ange LocarThe former foreign minister, who won the first round on October 23, is clearly behind: he received less than 46% of the vote.
In a country divided after former prime minister Janes Jancza’s opposition-ridden tenure, Natasza Birk Musar called for “unification” and turning the page on “conflicts”. “My first step is to invite all the leaders of the political parties to the presidential palace,” he announced to hundreds of supporters gathered around the capital Ljubljana on Sunday evening. In this country of 2 million people, Slovenians from the former Yugoslavia and a member of the European Union (EU) since 2004 voted in relatively high numbers.
During the campaign, the candidate, who defines himself as a “liberal”, highlighted his desire to give additional meaning to the ceremonial post on this basis. “The president cannot be neutral, he has to have an opinion”, “a moral authority”, he underlined in the interim and was questioned by AFP. “I have never been afraid to make my voice heard.” The outgoing head of state, Borut Bahor, failed to stand for re-election after two terms of five years each, and was often criticized for his passive approach to Janes Jansa.
A former TV presenter, Natasa Birk Muzar made a name for herself in the 2000s by running the Slovenian Data Protection Authority. A tireless defender of the political class, he opened his law firm in 2016 and continues to scour TV sets as an expert. Passionate about motorcycles, she has been the target of attacks on her husband’s lucrative investment activities, particularly in tax havens. On Sunday, he felt he had experienced a “much tougher campaign” than his rivals, “without the support of an established party”. Wanting to be a “women’s voice” in Slovenia and abroad, she previously scolded, “I was called a worker, you wouldn’t say a man’s.”
It was a fresh setback for the conservatives, who were dreaming of revenge after their heavy defeat in April’s legislative elections. To win, one of the main partisans of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) Jansa, 46-year-old Anse Lokar, kept his distance, barring a brief side-by-side appearance between the two in the evening. In the first round. While his opponent is backed by liberal Prime Minister Robert Gollop, Anse Locar has sought a role in “oversight”, according to comments he made to AFP, “desirable for a democratic system”. “But to his credit, he has more than twenty years of loyal service in a strongly hierarchical party where everyone is accountable to the president. (Editor’s Note: Janus Jansa), if he is elected, this represents the risk of him being a simple puppet, judged Uros Esih, a columnist for the “Telo” daily. In contrast, Natasa Birkmuser had little political experience, but the analyst noted that she knew how to “surround herself with solid advisers.”
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