Ljubljana Mayor’s Party Ahead in Slovenia Election Upset

Posted December 4th, 2011 at 5:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The party led by the mayor of Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, has a surprise lead in parliamentary elections.

Exit polls and early results show Zoran Jankovic's Positive Slovenia is ahead with almost 30 percent of the vote Sunday.

The results show former prime minister Janez Jansa's center-right party with about 25 percent and the governing Social Democrats of Prime Minister Borut Pahor with just over 10 percent.

The parliamentary vote was called in September, after Slovenia's minority center-left government was ousted in a no-confidence vote. That vote came amid poor economic recovery forecasts and disagreements between the Social Democrats and junior coalition partners.

Pre-election surveys have predicted that Mr. Jansa's Slovenian Democratic Party could win a full third of the votes in the country of 2 million. But analysts say he likely will need support from smaller parties to form a majority in the 90-seat parliament.

Mr. Jansa was prime minister of the former Yugoslav republic from 2004 to 2008. He has promised to cut the country's huge public debt, which has risen to about 45 percent of its gross domestic product, and to address unemployment hovering at 12 percent.

Europe's debt crisis in the 17-nation eurozone, which includes Slovenia, already has led to a change in government in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain.