LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- A former Slovenian prime minister was assured a spot in the Nov. 11 runoff election that will decide who the next president of Slovenia will be.
Lojze Peterle, a member of the European Parliament and the first prime minister of Slovenia after it won independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, led the first round of elections Sunday with 28.4 percent of the votes, Serbia’s RTS radio-television reported Monday quoting unofficial results.
Danilo Turk, Ljubljana Law University professor and former aide to the U.N. secretary-general, was second with 24.5 percent,and Mitja Gaspari, former Slovenia’s national bank governor, was third at 24.2 percent. Zmago Jelincic, a Slovenian extreme nationalist, was fourth with 19.2 percent.
To avoid a runoff a candidate needed more than 50 percent of votes in Sunday's election.
Several tens of thousands of votes still to be counted should decide which candidates would advance into the Nov. 11 runoff election.
Turnout in the presidential elections Sunday was 57.4 percent, much lower than in 2002 when turnout was 72 percent.
Seven candidates were competing to win a five-year term to replace outgoing President Janez Drnovsek.
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