National Assembly President

Janez Podobnik

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.
Janez Podobnik graduated in medicine at the University of Ljubljana in 1984 and worked as a physician in the Medical centre of Idrija an old mining town southwest of Ljubljana.

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.
In parliamentary elections of December 92, he was directly elected as a parliamentarian of Slovene People s Party. He also became more active within his political party, where he was elected president of the Program Council. Janez Podobnik has been closely working with his brother Marjan, an outspoken politician since 1988, a co-founder and president of Slovene People s Party (which was founded as the first democratic political party in former Yugoslavia in May 1988), who is deputy prime minister in the current coalition government.

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.
As the President of Slovene parliament, he has also tried to use his moral and political authority to encourage the initiatives of civil society and showed special sensitivity to the important role of a free and independent press for a politically mature and stable democratic society.
Janez Podobnik is married, his wife Janja is a construction engineer, and they continue to live in Cerkno with their 11 years old son Rok.