Independence and Unity Day
This year marks 29 years since the watershed date of 23 December 1990, when nearly 90 percent of all eligible voters opted for an independent Slovenia in a plebiscite.
Independence and Unity Day is celebrated every year on 26 December, the date that the results of the plebiscite were announced. Slovenia’s main national celebration in honour of Independence and Unity Day was held at Cankarjev dom on Monday.
The plebiscite on Slovenian independence was held on 23 December 1990 on the basis of the Plebiscite on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia Act, which was adopted at the beginning of December with a majority of 203 votes, in a chamber that was the predecessor to today’s National Assembly. There were zero votes against, with four deputies abstaining. The question in the plebiscite read: “Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?”
93.2 percent of all eligible voters participated in the plebiscite, of whom 95 percent (or 88.5 percent of all voters) voted for independence. It became clear that the plebiscite had succeed shortly after 10 p.m., when around 60 percent of the votes had been counted. It was then that Demos party leader Jože Pučnik uttered the famous statement that this country was no longer Yugoslavia; it was now Slovenia.
The results of the plebiscite were formally announced three days later, and therefore we celebrate Independence and Unity Day on 26 December, which is a national holiday.