The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Marking 25 Years Since First Multi-Party Elections


The vote was a transitional election leading to the country's first fully democratic elections on 6 December 1992, by which time Slovenia had already gained its independence.

The elections to the 240-member, three-chamber Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia were held in two stages, with the first one taking place on 8 April, when 80 delegates were elected to the Sociopolitical Chamber and 80 delegates to the Chamber of Municipalities.

The vote to elect 80 delegates to the Chamber of Associated Labour followed four days later to complete the elections, which saw the DEMOS coalition of centre-right political parties win 55% of the vote on a 83.5% turnout.

The coalition was formed by the Democratic Union (SDZ), the Social Democrat Alliance, the Christian Democrats (SKD), the Farmers' Alliance, the Entrepreneurs' Party and the Greens. All of them were established after December 1989 as Slovenian Communist authorities allowed competing parties to form despite Belgrade's opposition.

DEMOS defeated the parties that emerged from political organisations of the former Communist system, namely the Slovenian Communist Party - the Party of Democratic Reform (SDP), the Socialist Youth League of Slovenia (ZSMS), and the Socialist Party of Slovenia (SSS).

The SDP, which emerged from the Slovenian Communist Party, was the biggest individual winner with 14 seats, but DEMOS won a total of 47 seats.

Alongside the parliamentary elections, the vote for the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia was held, with former leader of the Communist Party Milan Kučan defeating DEMOS's candidate, dissident Jože Pučnik, in the run-off two weeks later.

Kučan, who led the Slovenian walk-out from the last congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in Belgrade in January 1990, was elected President of the Presidency on 22 April with 58.6% of the vote.

He was joined by writer Ciril Zlobec, farmer Ivan Oman, university professor Matjaž Kmecl and university professor and environmentalist Dušan Plut as presidency members.

The newly-elected presidency was sworn in at the maiden session of the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia on 9 May 1990, when France Bučar of the Democratic Union (SDZ) was elected parliamentary speaker.

Addressing the assembly members at the time, Bučar said that "by constituting this assembly we can say that the civil war that had broken us and hampered us for almost half a century has finally ended".

The assembly, which was renamed the Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on 23 June 1990, played a major role in Slovenia's independence efforts, not least by passing the Constitution of Slovenia on 23 December 1991.

The maiden session was followed by a session on 16 May at which leader of the Christian Democrats (SKD) Lojze Peterle was appointed the first prime minister of Slovenia, which effectively ended the 45-year rule of the Communist Party.

Peterle headed the 27-member executive council or the government until May 1992, when due to an internal crisis in the DEMOS coalition, a new coalition government was appointed under PM Janez Drnovšek.

Slovenia will mark the 25th anniversary of another major event later this year, remembering the 23 December independence referendum or plebiscite in which Slovenians overwhelmingly voted in favour of breaking away from Yugoslavia.


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