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Right-winger and comedian grab most votes in Slovenia

‘First step’:
Janez Janša
and his
wife Urška
Bacovnik
leave a
polling
station
after voting
yesterday PICTURE: GETTY

AN ANTI-IMMIGRANT party was expected to win most votes as Slovenia went to the polls yesterday, with a radical group led by a comedian in second place.

The right-wing SDS, whose leader Janez Janša has aligned himself with Hungary’s firebrand prime minister Viktor Orban, looked unlikely to win an outright majority.

But the success of the party and the surge by satirist Marjan Šarec’s movement was seen by commentators as mirroring the wider swing towards populism in European countries such as Italy.

The SDS was tipped to win about 25 per cent of the vote, with Mr Šarec on 12 per cent, ahead of the outgoing prime minister Miro Cerar’s Modern Centre Party. The election was triggered when Mr Cerar quit in March over a failed railway project.

Moderate parties were expected to try to form a coalition to keep out Mr Janša, who has served two previous terms as PM, the last from 2012 to 2013.

He said yesterday: ‘I believe a first step will be taken today toward turning Slovenia into a country that will put a Slovenian first, his safety and welfare. This will be the beginning.’