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Annual Review of Slovenian Domestic Affairs

Ljubljana, 13 December - Slovenia witnessed the end of a political era this year, as the centre-left Liberal Democrats (LDS), who had ruled for the past 12 years, tasted defeat in the 3 October general election. The new ruling party in the country is the centre-right Slovenian Democrats (SDS), whose long-time leader Janez Jansa is the new prime minister. Jansa has assembled a conservative government with the right-leaning New Slovenia (NSi) and People's Party (SLS), as well as the centre-left Pensioner's Party (DeSUS). The landmark elections were somewhat overshadowed by a media blackout caused by striking journalists, who were angered by the refusal of employers to join them at the negotiating table for talks on their collective bargaining agreement. For some, the lack of media coverage was welcome news, especially in an election year that was otherwise dominated by political wrangles. One of the hottest issues this year was the fate of the erased, people who were unlawfully deleted from the population register in 1992. This human rights issue turned into a political one this year as the government and opposition clashed on how the status of these people should be resolved. In the end, no solution was found and the erased remain in the dark about their past and their future. Also remaining in the dark are Slovenian Muslims, who still do not know when they will be able to pray in a mosque. Despite a seeming victory for pro-mosque politicians in Slovenia's capital in December 2003, things ground to a halt in October 2004 and the Muslim community has still not been offered land needed for the construction of a mosque. On a brighter note, Slovenia took a step closer to healing the divisions of the past, with the unveiling of a monument to victims of Partisan summary executions of suspected Nazi collaborators.

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© STA, 2004