Politics

26 Years Ago, Croatia Voted for Independence

By 19 May 2017

On 19 May 1991, the referendum on independence of Croatia was held.

On 19 May 1991, the referendum on the independence of Croatia was held. At the time, Croatia was one of six federal republics of Yugoslavia, which had already started with its disintegration.

Two questions were posed to citizens, who could choose between “for” and “against”.

The first question was “Do you believe that the Republic of Croatia, as a sovereign and independent state, which guarantees cultural autonomy and all civil rights to Serbs and members of other nationalities in Croatia, should enter into an alliance of sovereign states with other republics (according to the proposal by the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia for the resolution of the Yugoslav state crisis)?”

The second question was “Do you believe that the Republic of Croatia should remain part of Yugoslavia as a united federal state (according to the proposal by the Republic of Serbia and the Socialist Republic of Montenegro for the resolution of the Yugoslav state crisis)?”

190517 4 Referendum1

More than 83 percent of citizens voted in the referendum, which is the probably the highest turnout in all of Croatian history. On the first question, 94.17 percent voted “for”. On the second question, just 1.2 percent of voters voted to stay in Yugoslavia.

In accordance with the results of the referendum, on June the 25th, 1991, Parliament adopted the Declaration on the Proclamation of Sovereign and Independent Republic of Croatia and the Constitutional Declaration on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Croatia. The implementation of these decisions was postponed for a few months due to the pressure from the international community.

On 8 October 1991, one day after the Yugoslav Air Force launched a rocket attack on the seat of the government in Zagreb, the Parliament adopted a decision on termination of all constitutional and legal ties with Yugoslavia.

Croatian independence was internationally recognised by the then 12 members of the European Union on the 15th of January 1992, which, today, is widely accepted as the day when Croatia became an internationally recognised country.

Today, June the 25th is celebrated as Statehood Day, while the 8th of October is the Independence Day. Both days are national holidays.

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