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Slovenia's First Black Mayor Says He's 'No Obama'

Peter Bossman gives the thumbs-up after winning the second round of local elections in Lucija on October 24.
PRAGUE/ZAGREB -- Slovenia's first black mayor has laughed off media descriptions of himself as a "Slovenian Obama" after his election victory on October 24, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Peter Bossman, a doctor who was born in Ghana, came to study medicine in what was then Yugoslavia in 1977. After living in Belgrade, he moved to Ljubljana and married a Croatian doctor.

On October 24, Bossman narrowly beat the incumbent to become mayor of the small coastal town of Piran.

"I am very happy and proud and I hope I will be successful," Bossman told RFE/RL. "I will speak openly with the citizens. I am going to listen to them, their ideas, suggestions, and criticisms as well."

Bossman, 54, said he has never had problems because of the color of his skin, describing Piran -- a town of some 15,000 -- as a "mixed city" of Slovenians, Italians, Croats, Bosnians, and others.

"The most important [thing] is that you are an honest and good man," he said.

RFE/RL asked Bossman, a Social Democrat, about media reports dubbing him the "Slovenian Obama," after U.S. President Barack Obama.

"I am used to saying to the media...I am not Obama," he said. "I am Peter Bossman and I am the mayor of Piran."