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Sunday, October 1, 2023

DEMOS coalition led Slovenia to independence

by P.T.

On this day in 1989, the coalition DEMOS was established, whose main goal was to achieve the independence of Slovenia. The coalition won the first democratic elections and enabled the transition from totalitarian system to democracy and independence for Slovenia.

A significant turning point took place 31 years ago, on December the 4th 1989, in the history of Slovenia. On that day the Slovenian Democratic Union, Slovenian Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Union of Slovenia signed an agreement about cooperation. With this signing the parties involved established the DEMOS coalition, which won on the first multiparty elections in April, 1990. The coalition achieved the independence of Slovenia and defended it in the Slovenian war for independence. The leader and the “driving force” of the DEMOS coalition became Dr. Jože Pučnik, a key figure in the democratization and independence of Slovenia. Because of that he can rightfully be considered the father of the Slovenian statehood.

On the 10th anniversary of the democratic Slovenian opposition, Dr. Jože Pučnik stated: “We must create, not only an independent, sovereign state, but also a democratic state with a cultural value system that will organize all the of the areas of human life and will enable us progress towards the path of Western European nations. We, Slovenians, deserve this and can achieve this”, and summarized the main ideas of the Demos coalition, which are, unfortunately, not completely in place today.

A verbal agreement about the pre-election cooperation of the union of democratic parties was made on the estate of the president of the Slovenian Peasant Union, Ivan Oman, in Zimnica pri Škofji Loki, on the 27th of October, 1989. Gathered there were the representatives of the Slovenian Democratic Union, Social Democratic Union of Slovenia (presently SDS) and Slovenian Christian Democrats. They spoke and agreed about a cooperation, which they confirmed with signatures on this day in 1989. A good month later, on 8th of January, 1990, followed the signature of a new electoral agreement of the DEMOS coalition, which defined the extended membership in the coalition. It announced a joint participations on the first multiparty elections in April 1990. With the signing of agreement the Slovenian Peasant Union and the Slovenian Green Party joined DEMOS. And this marked the creation of the big DEMOS coalition. Jože Pučnik and Andrej Magajna signed on behalf of Social Democratic Union of Slovenia, Rajko Pirnat and Janez Janša on behalf of Slovenian Democratic Union, Dušan Plut on behalf of the Green Party and Alojz Peterle on behalf of Slovenian Peasant Union.

The work of the DEMOS coalition is priceless and will always be written in history of Slovenia with the golden letters, as our hundreds of years old desires for an independent and sovereign country of Slovenian nation were fulfilled. The first steps towards national reconciliation were taken under DEMOS, as well as a plebiscite regarding the independent Slovenia, when the Slovenian nation decided its own fate and the democratic constitution which respects the basic liberties and human rights, was passed. DEMOS successfully carried out the independence processes and defended it against the aggressors of the Yugoslav People´s Army and led the Slovenian nation from the Yugoslav totalitarian chains to the democratic, free society.

Today, we, the citizens of Slovenia, find ourselves again facing the situation in which we must show unity in the struggle for a better tomorrow and prove that we can achieve it with common strength. Slovenian nation showed in the days of gaining its independence that we are able to stand together, and that is why we believe that we can achieve this unity again today. Only with common strength and united in our struggle we can best the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.



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