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Friday, January 27, 2023

On the 20th anniversary of the death of the father of the nation, Jože Pučnik, who changed the course of Slovenian history

By: Sara Kovač / Nova 24TV, C. R.

20 years have passed since the death of Dr Jože Pučnik, the father of Slovenian statehood, who is one of the outstanding personalities of Slovenian history and among the most deserving of Slovenia’s independence. There will be a rally in front of the parliament to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

“You are cordially invited to the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the death of the father of the Slovenian nation, Dr Jože Pučnik. The commemoration will take place on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023, from 3 p.m. on Republic Square in Ljubljana. Janez Janša and Lojze Peterle will speak at the event,” they wrote in the SDS party.

Pučnik was a politician, thinker, and central figure in the Slovenian democratisation and independence processes, who changed the course of Slovenian history with his determination and courage. With all due respect, we rightly call him the father of Slovenian statehood.

Pučnik changed the course of Slovenian history

Pučnik decisively marked Slovenia’s transition to an independent state, as Slovenia achieved all the goals it had set for itself during the first democratic movements based on his involvement. With his determination and action, he changed the course of events in Slovenian history. It is hard to imagine an independent Slovenia without his intervention in the Slovenian political space. In key moments, as the president of Demos, he took on the responsibility and weight of Slovenian independence and democratisation.

“Yugoslavia is no more; it is about Slovenia.”

After the dissolution of Demos, Pučnik continued his journey as a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. In the mandate from 1992 to 1996, he headed the Commission of Inquiry on the investigation of post-war mass killings. After the end of his parliamentary term, he withdrew from active politics, but remained the honorary president of the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia. He will remain in the memory of Slovenians with his famous words when he said: “Yugoslavia is no more, it is about Slovenia.”

Pučnik died on January 11th, 2003, and in honours of the father of Slovenian independence, the government decided in 2007 to name Ljubljana’s airport after him. At the end of his ten-year presidential mandate, at the end of 2022, Borut Pahor posthumously presented the Order of Extraordinary Merit to Jože Pučnik. After his death in June 2006, President Janez Drnovšek already honoured him with an Order of Merit, but his family has so far refused to accept the award. His son Gorazd Pučnik has now taken over the award. Drnovšek awarded Pučnik with the Order of Extraordinary Merit for his life’s contribution to the democratisation, independence, and international recognition of Slovenia on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of our country’s independence. The award was later displayed in a place of honours in the Presidential Palace, in the hall that President Pahor named after Pučnik.

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