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Slovenia's new president, Danilo Turk, to be sworn in

Slovenia's new president, Danilo Turk, to be sworn in

Slovenia's new President Danilo Turk is to be sworn in on Saturday, a week before this ex-Yugoslav country takes over the European Union's rotating presidency.
Longtime diplomat Turk, 55, was elected president in Nov. 11 elections, becoming the country's third since its 1991 independence.
He will replace Janez Drnovsek, who did not seek another term.
Turk, an expert in international law, spent most of his career in diplomacy: he was Slovenia's first ambassador to the United Nations in New York from 1992-2002 and then the assistant to the U.N. secretary general at the time, Kofi Annan. He returned to Slovenia in 2005, becoming a deputy dean at the Ljubljana Law Faculty.
He resurfaced on the political scene with the elections as an independent candidate backed by the leftist opposition parties. He grabbed record support of 68 percent in the runoff vote, crushing the government's candidate, Lojze Peterle.
Slovenian presidential duties are largely ceremonial and most of the powers lie with the Cabinet and parliament.
The president, elected for a five-year term, is the army's supreme commander; he nominates the Central Bank governor and Constitutional Court judges, but their appointment still must be confirmed by parliament.
The president also has some say in foreign policy, and Turk's longtime diplomatic experience could be appreciated, especially during Slovenia's six-month presidency of the EU, which starts on Jan. 1.
Turk will be sworn in at the ceremony in front of parliament and will officially take over the powers from Drnovsek on Sunday.
The election of the left-leaning Turk disturbed Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who heads the center-right Cabinet.
Jansa and Drnovsek often quarreled, creating tensions that hampered political decision-making.
But Turk had indicated he would cooperate with Jansa, particularly during the EU presidency, as the tiny nation of 2 million people assumes the leadership of the 27-nation, 490-million-people bloc.


Updated : 2020-12-03 13:18 GMT+08:00