1945 Yugoslavian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Yugoslavia on 11 November 1945.[1] Due to an opposition boycott, the governing People's Front, dominated by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, was the only organisation to participate in the elections.[2] The Front officially claimed 90.48% of the vote, with turnout at 88.57%.[3]

1945 Yugoslavian parliamentary election

← 1938 11 November 1945 1950 →

All 354 seats in the Federal Assembly
All 175 seats in the Assembly of Nations
Turnout88.57%
  First party
  Josip Broz Tito Bihać 1942.jpg
Leader Josip Broz Tito
Party KPJ
Alliance People's Front
Seats won 354
Percentage 90.48%

Prime Minister before election

Josip Broz Tito
KPJ

Elected Prime
Minister

Josip Broz Tito
KPJ

Electoral systemEdit

 
A museum exhibit of the ballot boxes in the election in Ljubljana, Slovenia next to a bust of Josip Broz Tito. The text above the ballot boxes reads "He who votes black is an enemy of our people!"

The elections were held under a system approved by the Yugoslav Provisional Parliament.[4] Josip Broz Tito claimed it was to be the "most democratic [election] Yugoslavia has ever had" and promised that the opposition would be allowed to participate in the elections.[1] All men and women over 18 were granted the right to vote,[1] although "traitors" were denied the right to vote.[1] The government claimed this covered around 3% of voters, although the opposition put the figure much higher.[1] Over seven million people were ultimately registered.

The electoral law provided for a bicameral Constitutional Assembly with a 354-seat National Assembly and a 175-seat Assembly of Nations.[1] The National Assembly had one seat for every 40,000 voters.[1] Voting was conducted using rubber balls, which voters deposited in a ballot box marked with the label of the party they intended to vote for. Voters had to place their hands in both ballot boxes to maintain the secrecy of which party they had voted for.[2]

Despite the opposition boycott, ballot boxes for the opposition were placed in polling stations alongside those for the People's Front following an amendment to the electoral law.[2]

CampaignEdit

The People's Front consisted of the major pre-war parties in the country, and ran under the slogan "Confirm our victory!" (Serbo-Croatian: Potvrdite našu pobjedu!).[2]

Despite claiming significant support in Croatia and Serbia, the pro-monarchy opposition refused to contest the elections, claiming to have faced intimidation.[2] An opposition newspaper, Demokratija, was closed down a week before the elections, with the government claiming it was attempting to damage Yugoslav Army morale and encourage foreign intervention.[5]

ResultsEdit

National AssemblyEdit

PartyVotes%Seats
People's Front90.48354
Opposition9.520
Total354
Registered voters/turnout88.57
Source: Banac[3]

AftermathEdit

Eighteen days after the elections, the newly elected legislature formally abolished the monarchy and declared the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. This marked the onset of undisguised Communist rule in the country. For the next four decades, voters could only choose from candidates put forward by the People's Front (later renamed the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Yugoslavia At The Polls", The Times, 12 November 1945
  2. ^ a b c d e "Elections In Yugoslavia", The Times, 9 November 1945
  3. ^ a b Ivo Banac (1988) With Stalin Against Tito: Cominformist Splits in Yugoslav Communism, Cornell University Press, p18
  4. ^ "Marshal Tito On The Election", The Times, 13 September 1945
  5. ^ "Yugoslavia In Transition", The Times, 22 November 1945

See alsoEdit