Slovenians vote to elect new parliament

(171223) — LJUBLJANA, Dec. 23, 2017 (Xinhua) — President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor (C), attends the presidential inauguration at a special National Assembly session in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Dec. 22, 2017. Slovenian President Borut Pahor was sowrn in at the National Assembly on Friday and will formally start his second five-year term on Saturday, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported. (Xinhua/Matic Stojs) (srb)

Ljubljana, April 25 (IANS) Nearly 1.7 million eligible Slovenian voters went to polling stations to choose a new 90-seat parliament among a total of 1,476 candidates from 20 parties or party alliances.

The people of Slovenia cast their votes on Sunday.

Most polls predicted a close race between Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and the center-left Freedom Movement (FM), a new party headed by manager Robert Golob.

According to polls, each of the two parties could get about 25 per cent of the vote while analysts expect up to eight more parties could pass the four-per cent threshold for parliamentary representation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turnout is expected to be significantly higher than 52.64 per cent reached at the previous general election in 2018 as a record number of voters attended early voting, which took place between Tuesday and Thursday.

The State Election Commission said 7.67 per cent of all voters had attended early voting, which is designed for people who would not be able to vote on Sunday, up from 3.1 percent four years ago.

The new parliament is expected to convene by the middle of May, following which a new government is expected to be formed by a coalition of parties that will together hold the parliamentary majority.

Some of the main tasks of the new government include battling the Covid-19 pandemic, improving the public health system, curbing the rising cost of energy prices and high inflation and dealing with trade unions’ demands for hefty wage hikes.

The preliminary election results were declared late Sunday evening.

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