LUSTRATION ACT 1997
Letter by Borut Prah and Dr. Vlado Bevc to:
Secretary of State, Department of State
Jesse Helms, Chairman Senate Committe on Foreign Relations
Dear Madam Secretary:
We would like to bring to your attention a new legislation which is being proposed by Slovenia’s two main opposition parties, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. The law, also called Lustration Act, would remove the legacy of the communist totalitarian regime and exclude any communist leaders who are responsible for repressive acts from holding government positions.
Since the fall of Berlin Wall, similar laws repudiating the communist past have been enacted by Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Rumania. But not by Slovenia, where absence of such law has enabled communists to remain in power, albeit under a different name. The current President of Slovenia and its Prime Minister were leading officials in the Yugoslavian Communist Party. Several recent decisions by the Slovenian Constitutional Court, finding that the Agency for Privatization violated the Constitution, and repeated attempts to repeal the Law of Denationalization, are ample evidence that the former communists continue to violate property rights so that they can enrich themselves under the guise of privatization and thus remain in power.
Although the proposed Lustration Act may be voted on expeditiously, its sponsors give it a small chance of passing, for it would require removal of some political figures at the top. Thus, the “repainted Reds” are facing a dilemma: vote for this Law and resign from the office, or oppose it and publicly affirm continued allegiance to communism.
Many thousands of the United States citizens of Slovenian origin support the Lustration Act. Its enactment would ensure genuine democracy in Slovenia, making it ready for NATO and European Union. Its repudiation would signal continuation of communist rule. We believe that no country whose parliament expresses its allegiance to communism should be a candidate for NATO or European Union.
With kindest regards,
Dr. Vlado Bevc and Borut Prah