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Annual Review of Slovenian Interior Affairs

Ljubljana, 8 December - Slovenia was preoccupied with the appointment of a new president in the last weeks of 2002, when Janez Drnovsek was assuming the presidential office as only its second president in the eleven years since independence. Drnovsek stepped down as prime minister after the election and the parliament had to appoint a new cabinet, eventually led by Anton Rop. The cabinet was in fact old, since only three new names were introduced. Meanwhile in parliament, the opposition realised just how weak and fragmented it was with only 29 votes in the 90-seat legislature. The beginning of the year was marked by a unique "partial walk-out", as opposition parties boycotted certain procedures, calling for greater media attention and live coverage of parliamentary sessions. Towards the end of the year, local TV stations indeed started live coverage of all plenary debates. Ljubljana was in for a surprise in the second round of elections for mayor, when incumbent Vika Potocnik failed to convince voters to award her a second term and Danica Simsic rushed in surprisingly to take her seat. Healthcare received more than its fair share of media attention. Heads went flying after a disputed purchase of operating tables at Ljubljana's central hospital, Klinicni center, while the Health Ministry unveiled a heavily criticised comprehensive health reform proposal to reduce healthcare spending and improve services. Yet, most will probably remember 2002 for the endless debates about the people erased from the population registry in 2002. The story is bound to continue in the election year of 2004, as parliamentary parties have managed to turn a question of basic human rights into a prime campaign issue.

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