A right-wing politician should take the lead in the Slovenian presidential election

LJUBLJANA, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Polls opened in Slovenia’s presidential election on Sunday with former right-wing government foreign minister Anze Logar expected to lead the seven candidates in the first ballot.

Opinion polls suggest that no candidate will win more than 50% of the votes that would secure victory after the first round. The two candidates who win the most votes will face the second round in two weeks.

Polling stations close at 7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT) and the first results are expected about two hours later.

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Although the role is mainly ceremonial, the president heads the military and also appoints several senior officials, including the governor of the central bank. Most appointments must be confirmed by parliament.

The new EU and NATO president will replace Borut Pahor, a former model who served two terms and is often referred to in public as the president of Instagram for his use of the social network.

The latest opinion polls by television channel Pop TV suggest that Logar will win the first round with 26.9% of the vote, followed by lawyer Natasa Pirc Musar with 19% and ruling coalition candidate Milan Brglez with 12.9%.

Logar, 46, is a member of former Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which lost the April general election to new Prime Minister Robert Golob’s Environmental Freedom Movement.

Pirc Musar, a 54-year-old former TV presenter who is now an influential lawyer, has campaigned on human rights, rule of law and social welfare issues.

Musar is in the running to become the first female president of the former Yugoslav republic.

“While the president’s role in Slovenia is largely ceremonial, the election outcome will reflect voter support for liberal pro-EU political forces versus populist Eurosceptic parties,” consultancy Teneo said ahead of the election.

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Reporting by Katja Lihtenvalner Editing by Ivana Sekularac and David Goodman

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