Slovenians voted overwhelmingly Sunday for their republic to secede from Yugoslavia. In Serbia, the renamed Communists appeared headed for defeat in runoff elections, the opposition said.
According to unofficial results of Slovenia’s plebiscite, 88% of the electorate voted for secession, 4% voted against and the remainder of the ballots were invalid.
Thousands danced and cheered in the streets of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
“Within the next six months, Slovenia will decide whether to stay in Yugoslavia or become an independent country,” Slovenian President Milan Kucan said.
Center-right parties in Croatia and Slovenia ousted Communists in spring elections. Both republics have threatened to secede if Yugoslavia does not transform itself into a loose confederation of semi-independent states.
The largest republic, Serbia, advocates a strong federal government. The opposition celebrated what it said were victories in Serbia’s largest cities, including Belgrade, in runoff voting for the 250-seat legislature.
In the first round, Serbia’s Socialists--formerly the Communists--scored a resounding victory by winning 87 seats. Ethnic Hungarian and Muslim groups won nine constituencies. The three major opposition parties got none.
On Sunday, many opposition candidates were reportedly in the lead for the remaining 154 seats.