By: C. R., STA
Jože Pučnik is the most important figure in Slovenian political history, former President of the Republic Borut Pahor wrote on Twitter on today’s 20th anniversary of the former Slovenian politician’s death. In his opinion, despite this, Slovenians pay too little attention to his place in our historical memory.
“Therefore, as far as possible, I contributed to the preservation of this memory in various political positions,” wrote Pahor. As president of the National Assembly, after Pučnik’s death, he ordered a mourning session of the parliament in his memory, even though this was not a matter of course according to protocol rules.
As president of the republic, he had a wreath laid on his grave in his name and in the name of the country on the anniversary. He also named one of the halls in the Presidential Palace after Pučnik. He participated in symposia that evaluated his work and contribution to democratisation and an independent state. He also gave a speech in Brussels when one of the halls of the European Parliament was named after him. In 2016, he was the keynote speaker in Lenart at the ceremony of naming the city park after Jože Pučnik and unveiling a memorial in honour of the 25th anniversary of the country’s independence.
“I consider it a special honour that I was able to present Gorazd Pučnik and Jože Pučnik’s family with the highest state award in the middle of last December, with which Pučnik was awarded posthumously by Janez Drnovšek, but the family refused to accept it from 2006 until recently,” he added on Twitter.
Pučnik was the president of the Social Democratic Union of Slovenia from 1989 to 1993. Social Democratic Party of Slovenia, which was later renamed SDS. After returning from Germany, where he emigrated due to harassment of the authorities at the time, he also became the president of the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia (Demos), which won the 1990 elections. In 1992, he was deputy prime minister in the first government of Janez Drnovšek. In 1993, he handed over the leadership of the SDS to Janez Janša, and in 1997 he retired from active politics. Finally, he was the honorary president of SDS.
On the anniversary of his death, a lecture by literary historian Janko Kos was held today in the premises of SAZU, and at 3 p.m. Pučnik’s life and legacy will also be remembered by the SDS at the Republic Square in Ljubljana.
President of the Republic on the 20th anniversary of the death of Dr Jože Pučnik: Dr Pučnik was and remains a symbol and example of a statesman
On January 11th, 2023, 20 years have passed since the death of Dr Jože Pučnik.
Today, at exactly noon, the Guard of the Slovenian Army, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Nataša Pirc Musar laid a wreath at the grave of Dr Pučnik at the cemetery in Črešnjevac near Slovenska Bistrica.
“As leader of Demos, Dr Jože Pučnik was one of the most important personalities of modern Slovenian politics and its political spring. Despite unpleasant personal experiences, he maintained the prudence and patriotism with which he led the nation and the homeland to the plebiscite and further to the establishment of an independent state. Dr Pučnik was and remains a symbol and example of a statesman who realises that the most beneficial for the common future is to talk with the person with whom you initially disagree the most,” emphasised the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Nataša Pirc Musar.
Aleksej Skok, President of the Republic’s advisor for political affairs, will attend today’s commemorations of the 20th anniversary of Dr Pučnik’s death on the Republic Square on her behalf.
Since 2015, one of the halls in the Presidential Palace has been named after Dr Jože Pučnik.