The Latest: Slovenia challenger says he was underestimated

October 22, 2017

A cyclist rides past a campaign poster of Slovenia's president incumbent Borut Pahor, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Slovenia, the Alpine home country of Melania Trump, is holding a presidential election Sunday that incumbent President Borut Pahor _ a former fashion model, like the U.S. first lady _ is favored to win. Eight other candidates are vying for the largely ceremonial, but still influential head of state post. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — The Latest on the presidential election in Slovenia (all times local):

9:05 p.m.

Slovenian presidential candidate Marjan Sarec says he is pleased results from an election held Sunday show he made it into a runoff vote with incumbent President Borut Pahor.

Sarec, who is the mayor of the town of Kamnik, expressed confidence that he would continue building support before the head-to-head contest scheduled for Nov. 12.

Sarec placed second in the first round of balloting, receiving around 25 percent. Pre-election polls had predicted Pahor could win a majority of votes on Sunday and avoid a runoff, but he received 47 percent.

Sarec, who was a comedian and appeared on television before he turned to politics, suggested the polls underestimated him.

He said: “People know me and trust me, because I have a good track record


8:55 p.m.

Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor has acknowledged that a runoff vote will be necessary after the first round of balloting in the country’s presidential election.

Pahor was seeking re-election in the vote on Sunday. The initial vote count gives him the lead, but without the majority of votes needed to win a second term outright.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Pahor had 47 percent. His main opponent, Marjan Sarec received around 25 percent.

Pahor says it appears a Nov. 12 runoff vote will be needed and he will “do my best to prove that I’m best choice. I’m glad for support that I got in first round.”

Sarec is a former comedian who is the mayor of the northern town of Kamnik.


8:35 p.m.

Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor is leading in a preliminary presidential vote count, but is likely to face a runoff

With nearly 83 percent of the vote counted in Sunday’s election, Pahor won 47 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Marjan Sarec, a former comedian who is mayor of the northern town of Kamnik, has 25 percent.

Nine presidential candidates — including five women — were competing for the largely ceremonial but still influential post in the European Union member country with a population of 2 million that is the homeland of U.S. first lady Melania Trump.

If Pahor does not win more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff would be scheduled for Nov. 12.


9:10 a.m.

Slovenians are voting in a presidential election with polls predicting an easy re-election for President Borut Pahor, a veteran politician and former model known for his use of social media.

Some 1.7 million voters on Sunday were choosing among nine candidates for the largely ceremonial but influential post. This nation in Central Europe is a member of the European Union and the homeland of U.S. first lady Melania Trump.

Slovenia’s presidency holds no executive powers. However, the president proposes the prime minister, who runs the government, and the president’s opinion carries weight on important issues.

Pre-election surveys say Pahor could possibly win a majority of votes and avoid a runoff. His main opponent is Marjan Sarec, a former comedian who is the mayor of the northern town of Kamnik.

Update hourly