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He became the leader of the League of Communists of Slovenia in 1986. He began to support the separation of the Communist Party from the state, as well as political pluralism, after 1989. In 1990 he was elected president of Slovenia, within the old Yugoslav federation under the League of Communists. He opposed Jože Pučnik , who believed in Slovenian independence.
Later, in 1990, Kučan began to support independence, too. He is known for his policy of peaceful negotiation, which led to the Brioni Agreement. After independence in 1991, he was popularly elected as the President of Slovenia as an independent candidate with the support of former League of Communists. He won another five year term in 1997, running as an independent and winning a majority in the first round, in a field of seven candidates.
Kučan is married to Štefka Kučan.
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