The small central European country of Slovenia over the weekend elected its first female president, left-liberal political newcomer Nataša Pirc Musar, a prominent lawyer who previously represented former U.S. first lady Melania Trump in cases in her native Slovenia.
In Sunday’s run-off vote, Pirc Musar, who ran as an independent candidate with the support of Slovenia’s left-liberal establishment government, defeated conservative MP and former foreign minister Anže Logar, garnering some 54% of the national vote to his 46%, the national daily newspaper Delo reports.
Turnout among the population of some two million was quite low, at just 49.9%, the European Commission noted.
Following her victory, Ms. Pirc Musar said: “Slovenia has elected a president who believes in the European Union, in the democratic values on which the EU was founded,” adding that her win would make her “the voice of women” in Slovenia and abroad.
In her victory speech, Pirc Musar, referring to the stark political divide that exists within the country, said that her primary task as president—which for the most part is a ceremonial position—would be to “open a dialogue among all Slovenians.”
“Diversity makes us rich,” she said, describing Slovenia as a “mosaic of diversity” that needs to be cherished and nurtured.
“The president cannot be neutral… and have no opinion… I have never been afraid to speak out,” she told AFP.
After conceding defeat, Logar said that he hopes that his opponent “will carry out all the promises” she made to voters during the campaign.
Concerning foreign policy, Pirc Musar is not expected to deviate from the government’s current positions, especially on matters like the Russo-Ukraine war. Additionally, she will push for the accession of all Western Balkan countries into the European Union as soon as possible.
Pirc Musar will be the first woman to serve as president since Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.