|National Assembly President
Janez Podobnik, born on September 17, 1959,
comes from Cerkno, a small town 80 kilometers from Slovene capital Ljubljana. He is the
oldest son in a family of farmers, with a year younger brother Marjan, also a politician,
and with a younger sister Anka.
In 1990, he ran on local elections as a
candidate of DEMOS, the coalition of democratic parties of Slovenia. He won with a very
high election result and became the president of the local government in Idrija, a post he
performed unprofessionally, since he continued to work as a physician until 1992.
Since 1992, Janez Podobnik has fully devoted to the work of a professional politician as a parliamentarian that has won a wide cross-party respect for his fairness, outstanding capacity for a tolerant dialogue, for his political consistence, wisdom and honesty. He has devoted his attention to social welfare reforms, to preparing legislation for the disabled population, to issues of democratic reforms in health care, education and other social issues. He has also devoted a lot of attention to democratisation of local governments, chairing the association of Slovene mayors. In 1994 local elections, Janez Podobnik was also elected mayor of Cerkno, and he continues to work at this job unprofessionally.
Following November 1996 elections, Janez
Podobnik was elected president of Slovene Parliament with a wide support of 82 votes out
of 90. His leadership has effectively encouraged more tolerance and dialogue among
different political options in Slovene Parliament.