Slovenia holds presidential poll
(Reuters) - Slovenians vote on Sunday in a presidential election which might give the country its first right-of-centre head of state since it broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.
The winner will be inaugurated only days before Slovenia takes over the 6-month rotating presidency of the European Union on Jan 1. Although a largely ceremonial figure, he will feature prominently in international contacts during the presidency.
Since 1991, Slovenia's presidents have been left-leaning. A victory for Lojze Peterle, a conservative former prime minister and the leading presidential candidate, would break the pattern.
Slovenia's governments were also mostly centre-left until 1994, when Janez Jansa's conservative coalition won a parliamentary election in 2004, the year Slovenia joined the EU and NATO. Most parties in the coalition support Peterle.
"Although the president does not have much power, this election is important because it will be an indicator of a political mood in the country ahead of the parliamentary poll (late) next year," Borut Hocevar, an editor at daily Zurnal 24, told Reuters.
Peterle, 59, is likely to win the most support of the seven candidates -- between 26 and 41 percent -- but probably not enough to secure outright victory in the first round.