On 2 December 2012 Slovenian citizens elected the fourth president of the republic in its short history as an independent and liberal democratic state. After two initial consecutive five-year terms of the former communist Milan Kučan, one term of Janez Drnovšek — a deceased former prime minister —, and one term of the former diplomat Danilo Türk, the turn is on Borut Pahor to become the holder of the highest political function in the state. Although the presidential function in a system of parliamentary government (see Strøm, 1995) such as Slovenian is by constitution reduced to more or less ceremonial obligations with very limited executive competences, its significance is in fact far greater. It is the only directly electable state-level executive function which generates significant legitimacy in comparison with the function of prime minister — a powerful but indirectly selected figure. Another important aspect of presidential function is its moral authority which previous incumbents more or less managed to preserve by not being implicated in numerous corruption scandals that shook Slovenian political elite across ideological spectrum in the past two decades and by being somewhat detached from every-day party politics. As it appears, this is about to change. I shall take the recently held presidential elections to illustrate this.
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