Ljubljana: An African immigrant was being dubbed the "Slovenian Barack Obama" on Monday, after winning a run-off election at the weekend for the post of mayor in the Adriatic resort of Piran.
Peter Bossman, 54, came to former Yugoslavia in 1977 to study medicine, expecting only to visit.
Instead he made Slovenia his home, married a Croat colleague doctor - with whom he has two daughters - and started a private medical practice.
In Sunday's local elections he ran for Prime Minister Borut Pahor's Social Democrats, against the incumbent conservative rival Tomaz Gantar, in Piran.
Responding to Gantar's criticism that he speaks Slovenian poorly, Bossman said: "Yes, I make mistakes, but so do many Slovenians."
He said his close victory demonstrated the high level of democracy in his adopted country.
Sunday's run-off vote decided the race for mayors in 74 out of the 208 Slovenian municipalities. The conservative opposition Slovenian Democratic Party of former premier Janez Jansa won the most votes nationwide, but failed to gain control over any of the major cities.
In Ljubljana, the incumbent independent Mayor Zoran Jankovic swept to another term in office after the first round two weeks ago.
First Published: Monday, October 25, 2010, 13:42