Black Mayor for Slovenia

[Alexey Sundman, European News Contributor]

The Slovenian city of  Piran late last year elected Peter Bossman as its first black mayor.  A Ghana-born doctor, he is the first black person to be elected to a mayorship in the former Yugoslavia. He was a candidate of the Social Democrats (SD).

Mr Bossman arrived in the country from Ghana in the 1980s as a medical student when it was still part of  Yugoslavia. He defeated the previous Mayor of Piran by a narrow margin gaining 51.4% of the vote.  Dr. Bossman says that people no longer saw his skin colour as an issue and that it was clear by his victory that Slovenia is a mature and democratic country.

According to BBC News, he said that he was: “happy and proud” to serve. “I based my campaign on a dialogue, and I think the dialogue has won”. He plans to introduce electric cars to Piran, a city of some 15,000 people a mix of Slovenians, Italians, Croats, Bosnians, and others. He is also planning for an airport and golf course for the city to boost its tourist revenue.

The 54-year-old Mayor had planned to return to Ghana after completing his medical studies, but had decided not to do so after marrying a fellow doctor of Croatian origin. Only a small number of Slovenians are of African origin and although he had experienced racial discrimination in past years, for the last 10 to 15 years he has had no problems at all. “...  I think people no longer see the colour of my skin when they look at me..” .

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