BLED, Slovenia (AP) — The Latest on Slovenia's presidential runoff on Sunday (all times local):
Slovenian President Borut Pahor has thanked voters for their support after he won a runoff election against an ex-comedian who has put up a strong challenge.
Pahor said Sunday he will do his best to help further boost the citizens' faith in democracy. He also congratulated his opponent, Marjan Sarec, on his result in the race.
A near-complete vote count had Pahor with 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Sarec.
Pahor said: "I'd like to thank all voters for having faith in democracy" and added: "especially I'd like to thank to those who voted for me."
Pahor also says he will strive to help solve problems rather than deepen any divisions that exist in Slovenian society
The challenger in Slovenia's presidential election runoff has conceded defeat after ballot returns showed President Borut Pahor with an insurmountable lead.
Marjan Sarec, the mayor of the northern Slovenian town of Kamnik, said Sunday that he wished to congratulate Pahor on winning a second term in office.
Sarec is an ex-comedian and a relative newcomer to Slovenia's state politics, but he managed to put up a strong challenge to political veteran Pahor.
He said the support he received indicates that "it's time for change" and he was "proud to have had a possibility to run against the premiere league."
Slovenian President Borut Pahor has defeated challenger Marjan Sarec in the country's runoff election.
Slovenia's electoral commission with nearly 80 percent of ballots counted, Pahor had 53 percent of the vote to Sarec's 46 percent.
Pahor, a veteran politician who has held a number of government posts, had a large lead after election's first round on Oct. 22.
But Sarec, a former comedian who is mayor of a narrow town, had narrowed the gap in the past three weeks.
The most recent polls had indicated the runoff results would be close.
Polls have closed in Slovenia's presidential election runoff, which was expected to be a close race between President Borut Pahor and challenger Marjan Sarec, a former comedian who is a relative political newcomer.
Slovenian election authorities said Sunday that turnout by mid-afternoon stood at around 30 percent, which was slightly lower than for the election's first round of voting on Oct. 22.
Heading into the runoff, a low voter turnout was expected to benefit Sarec.
Pahor, a veteran politician who has held a number of government posts, had a large lead after the first round, but Sarec has narrowed the gap in the past three weeks.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor says the campaign for the presidential runoff has led to a "change of roles" between him and his challenger, Marjan Sarec.
Pahor complained Sunday that he has been viewed as a populist, which he says is not true. He says his opponent — a relative newcomer — is trying to assume the role of a "statesman."
Pahor led by a large margin after the first round of voting on Oct. 22, but Sarec has managed to narrow the gap. Sunday's race is expected to be close.
Critics have accused Pahor — a former model known as the "King of Instagram" for his frequent use of social media — of downgrading the office by turning himself into a celebrity. Sarec is a mayor who was once a comic.
The challenger in Slovenia's presidential election runoff says he is confident that he could win the vote against President Borut Pahor, a veteran politician seeking re-election.
Marjan Sarec said upon voting Sunday that "I wouldn't have run for the position if I hadn't thought I could be elected." Sarec has urged voters to produce a high turnout.
The 39-year-old is the mayor of the northern town of Kamnik who has mounted an unexpected challenge to Pahor. The incumbent had a strong lead after the first round of voting on Oct. 22, but Sarec has managed to narrow the gap.
A former satirical comedian, Sarec gave up acting to enter politics in 2010. He is serving his second term as mayor.
Voters in Slovenia are casting ballots in a presidential runoff, with President Borut Pahor's bid for re-election facing a tough challenge from an ex-comedian who's now the mayor of a northern town.
Pahor, a veteran politician known for his frequent use of social media, led by a large margin after the first round of voting on Oct. 22. But his runoff opponent, Marjan Sarec, has since narrowed the gap and the latest polls predict a close race Sunday.
The president in Slovenia holds no executive powers but they propose a prime minister and their opinion on important issues holds weight.
Slovenia, a country of 2 million people in Central Europe, is known for its Alpine mountains and lakes and its love of nature. It is the birthplace of U.S. first lady Melania Trump.