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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