Europe

Political novice Miro Cerar wins Slovenia election

Miro Cerar, centre, with victorious SMC aides, 13 Jul 14 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Miro Cerar (centre) and SMC aides celebrated with a huge cake

A centre-left political novice, Miro Cerar, has won a snap election in Slovenia and questioned EU privatisation targets for his country.

The EU launched a reform package for Slovenia last year when the tiny Alpine nation's banks got into trouble.

The Miro Cerar Party (SMC), launched in June, won 34.7% of the vote in Sunday's election. Now Mr Cerar, a lawyer, will try to form a new coalition government.

He opposes privatisation of Slovenia's main airport and a state telecoms firm.

Last year there were fears that Slovenia would become the next country in the eurozone to ask for a financial bailout.

As in Spain, bad loans in the banking system were at the heart of Slovenia's economic woes.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Miro Cerar is a well-known critic of political cronyism in Slovenia

A former prime minister, Janez Jansa, began serving a two-year jail term for bribery last month. His centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) got 21%, but disputed the election result.

Mr Jansa's successor, Alenka Bratusek, called a snap election amid political turmoil over the economic reform plans.

Mr Cerar, a 50-year old law professor, is the son of an Olympic gymnast regarded as one of Slovenia's greatest ever sportsmen.

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