9 candidates seeking Slovenian presidency in vote next month

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia's election authorities say nine candidates will be competing in the country's presidential election next month, including the incumbent and an ex-comedian.

The State Election Commission on Thursday confirmed the candidacy of President Borut Pahor, who is expected to win a second term in office.

The 53-year-old Pahor is a veteran politician and a former fashion model known for his use of social media. Recent surveys predict he could win more than half of the votes during the Oct. 22 election and avoid a runoff.

Analysts say Pahor's most serious challenger is ex-comedian Marjan Sarec, who is the mayor of the northern town of Kamnik. The popular Sarec has criticized Pahor for acting like a "celebrity" while president.

Also running is the leader of the conservative New Slovenia party, Ljudmila Novak.

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