World

Anti-immigrant party wins Slovenia election, to get shot at forming coalition

Slovenia's president says he will offer a mandate to form the government to a right-wing opposition leader whose party won the most votes at weekend parliamentary elections in the European Union nation.

Janez Jansa's Slovenia Democratic Party took 25% of the vote

Janez Jansa, leader of the SDS, talks to the media in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Sunday after initial results had his party headed to victory. (Antonio Bat/EPA-EFE)

Slovenia's president said Monday he will offer a mandate to form the government to a right-wing opposition leader whose party won most votes at weekend parliamentary elections in the European Union nation.

Borut Pahor said former prime minister Janez Jansa should be given a chance to gather a parliamentary majority after his anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party won some 25 per cent of the vote on Sunday.

Most other parties that have made it into the 90-member parliament have ruled out a coalition with Jansa because of his extremist position. They are more likely to form a centrist coalition.

"I am not obliged to award the mandate to the relative winner of the election, but I will do so because I strongly believe in democracy," Pahor told the Delo newspaper.

Observers in Slovenia are predicting long and tough post-election talks because a total of nine parties have entered the parliament, including the far-right National Party.

The anti-establishment List of Marjan Sarec trailed in second place with just over 12 per cent, preliminary returns showed. The Social Democrats, the Modern Center Party of the outgoing prime minister, Miro Cerar, and the Left all received around nine per cent.

Slovenia, like neighbours Austria, Italy and Hungary, has seen anti-migrant parties gain influence in national politics in recent months. (Google)

Slovenia borders Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and a slice of the Adriatic Sea. The country joined the EU in 2004 and has used the euro as its official currency since 2007.

Jansa is an ally of Hungary's anti-immigration prime minister, Viktor Orban. His election prowess with Slovenia's 1.7 million voters mirrors the growth of right-wing populism in central and eastern Europe following an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

Jansa was previously prime minister for over a year earlier this decade. He was mired in a corruption scandal that saw him serve several months in prison, before his conviction was overturned.

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