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Slovenia: independent candidates prevail in runoffs

(ANSA) - BELGRADE, DEC 5 - Sunday's mayoral run-off in Slovenia didn't bring any big surprises. According to the Slovenian news agency STA, voters continued to favor independent and cross-party candidates and incumbents, which has been a long-term trend. The biggest shock came in Celje, Slovenia's fourth largest city, where Mayor Bojan Rot was defeated by Matija Kovac, a 33-year-old architect who has served on the Left's council for the past eight years but ran as an independent. In Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city, Sasa Arsenovic defeated Franc Kangler, a former mayor whom he had defeated in 2018, with 61% of the vote. Kranj, the country's third largest city, re-elected incumbent Matjaz Rakovec. Meanwhile, in Nova Gorica, voters chose a political newcomer, Samo Turel, over one-term mayor Klemen Miklavic, giving Prime Minister Golob's ruling Freedom Movement its first mayor in one of the twelve urban municipalities. (ANSA).