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Polls open in Slovenia presidential election run-off amid growing dissatisfaction

Published on Dec 2, 2012 2:09 PM

LJUBLJANA (AFP) - Polls opened on Sunday in Slovenia for the presidential election run-off taking place amid an increasing dissatisfaction with the government's austerity measures aimed at bringing the ex-Yugoslav republic out of the crisis.

Polls favoured former centre-left prime minister Borut Pahor, 49, who pulled off an upset on Nov 11 when he won the first round with 39.9 per cent of the vote ahead of the absolute favourite, incumbent President Danilo Turk, 60, with 35.9 per cent.

Eurozone member Slovenia, once seen as a star new member in the European Union, is suffering one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone, while problems with its banks have raised fears it may need a bailout.

The campaign ahead of the run-off was overshadowed by a series of protests against the government's austerity measures that culminated on Friday in Ljubljana when police detained over 30 protestors and used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a rally.

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