1990 Slovenian independence referendum

An independence referendum was held in the Republic of Slovenia (then part of SFR Yugoslavia) on 23 December 1990.[1] Both the ruling center-right coalition and the left-wing opposition supported the referendum and called on voters to support Slovenian independence.

The voters were asked the question: "Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?" (Slovene: Ali naj Republika Slovenija postane samostojna in neodvisna država?).[2] The Slovenian parliament set a threshold for the validity of the plebiscite at 50% and one of all electors (the absolute majority).[3][4]


On 26 December the results of the referendum were officially proclaimed by France Bučar in the Assembly. 88.5% of eligible voters (94.8% of those participating) had voted in favour of independence, therefore exceeding the threshold.[5] 4.0% had voted against independence, while 0.9% had cast invalid ballots, and 0.1% had returned their ballots unused.[6] 6.5% of electors did not participate in the elections.[5]

Bučar's announcement obliged the Slovenian authorities to declare the independence of the country within six months. On 25 June 1991 the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia was passed and independence was declared the following day, leading to the Ten-Day War.

Referendum results
Choice Votes %
  Yes 1,289,369 95.71
No 57,800 4.29
Valid votes 1,347,169 98.93
Invalid or blank votes 14,569 1.07
Total votes 1,361,738 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 1,499,294 90.83
Source: Stat.si,[6] Archives of Slovenia[7]

42,274 people could not vote, because they worked abroad or were involved in military service or military exercises, and were not counted in the calculation of results.[6]


  1. ^ "Z drevišnjo proslavo v Cankarjevem domu bomo obeležili obletnico plebiscita" [With the celebration in the Cankar Hall this evening we will commemorate the anniversary of the plebiscite] (in Slovenian). Slovenian Press Agency. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  2. ^ Felicijan Bratož, Suzana (2007). Prevzem arhivskega gradiva plebiscitnega referenduma o samostojnosti Republike Slovenije [Acquisition of Plebiscite on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia Archives] (PDF). 6. zbornik referatov dopolnilnega izobraževanja s področja arhivistike, dokumentalistike in informatike v Radencih od 28. do 30. marca 2007 (in Slovenian and English). Regional Archives Maribor. pp. 453–458. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-13.
  3. ^ "Zakon o plebiscitu o samostojnosti in neodvisnosti Republike Slovenije" [Plebiscite on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia Act] (PDF). Uradni List (in Slovenian). XLVII (44): 2033–2034. 6 December 1990. ISSN 0350-4964."Intervju: Rosvita Pesek" [Interview: Rosvita Pesek]. Reporter (in Slovenian). 26 December 2008. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Plebiscit o samostojnosti – čas največje politične enotnosti" [Independence Referendum – the Time of the Largest Political Unity] (in Slovenian). Delo.si. 23 November 2011. ISSN 1854-6544.
  5. ^ a b Flores Juberías, Carlos (November 2005). "Some legal (and political) considerations about the legal framework for referendum in Montenegro, in the light of European experiences and standards". Legal Aspects for Referendum in Montenegro in the Context of International Law and Practice (PDF). Foundation Open Society Institute, Representative Office Montenegro. p. 74. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  6. ^ a b c "Volitve" [Elections]. Statistični letopis 2011 [Statistical Yearbook 2011]. Statistical Yearbook 2011. Vol. 15. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 2011. p. 108. ISSN 1318-5403.
  7. ^ Alenka Starman; Jernej Križnar (2010). "Po plebiscitu / After the Plebiscite". Razstava Arhiva Republike Slovenije ob 20. obletnici plebiscita za samostojno in neodvisno Republiko Slovenijo [An Exhibition of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Plebiscite for the Sovereign and Independent Slovenia] (PDF) (in Slovenian). Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. p. 47. ISBN 978-961-6638-14-2.