Slovenia profile

President: Borut Pahor

Borut Pahor, pictured on 7 May 2010 at an EU summit in Brussels, when he was Slovene prime minister Mr Pahor is seen as a more conciliatory figure than his predecessor

The prime minister of a centre-left government between 2008-12, Borut Pahor was elected president in December 2012, beating incumbent Danilo Turk by a thumping margin of 34% of the vote.

However, the low turnout - only one in three eligible voters made it to the polls - was seen as a sign of widespread disenchantment with Slovenia's political class.

The election took place against a background of popular discontent at the centre-right government's austerity measures, with many Slovenes taking to the streets to call for the resignation of the political elite.

Mr Pahor's conciliatory style and calm demeanour was seen to have gone down better than the abrasive approach of Mr Turk, and he appears to be untouched by the corruption allegations that have dogged other senior Slovene politicians.

He said on being elected that Slovenia needs "trust, respect and tolerance".

The role of president is largely ceremonial, but carries authority in defence and foreign affairs.

Born in 1963, Mr Pahor belonged to the reform wing of the Yugoslav Communist League in Slovenia in the 1980s, before going on to become the leader of the Social Democrats after Slovene independence.

He became prime minister after his party's narrow victory at the September 2008 parliamentary elections. The Social Democrats replaced a centre-right coalition under Janez Jansa, the current prime minister.

His government lost a vote of confidence in September 2011 after a referendum rejected major pension reforms.

Alenka Bratusek Alenka Bratusek became prime minister in the middle of a severe economic and political crisis

Prime minister: Alenka Bratusek

Opposition leader Alenka Bratusek took over as prime minister when Janez Jansa's year-old centre-right coalition collapsed in disputes over austerity measures and corruption allegations in February-March 2013.

She only entered parliament in 2011 after a career in the finance ministry, and took over leadership of the social liberal Positive Slovenia party on an acting basis in January 2013 after leader Zoran Jankovic stepped down - also over corruption allegations.

Ms Bratusek has criticised the austerity policy of her predecessor, saying her priority will be "growth and jobs", but she may have little choice but to implement public spending cuts given the country's financial fragility.

On taking office, she dismissed speculation that Slovenia, which was struggling with a banking crisis, might be the next eurozone country after Cyprus to need a bailout.

Political observers in Slovenia say the chances of the coalition lasting until 2015 are slim, making early elections highly likely.

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