LJUBLJANA, YUGOSLAVIA, JULY 3 -- Slovenia, the most Westernized of Yugoslavia's six constituent republics, has proclaimed its complete autonomy from Yugoslav federal authority and declared its intention to establish an independent legal system and take control of all armed forces stationed in the republic.
Media reports said a joint session of the 240-seat legislature voted unanimously Monday to adopt the Declaration of Sovereignty of the State of Slovenia, where multi-party elections earlier this year replaced the long-ruling Communists with an opposition coalition that campaigned on a pledge of greater autonomy for the republic, or even total independence.
The document made no mention of secession from Yugoslavia, but it did urge adoption of a new democratic constitution for the republic within the next 12 months. The republic's new nationalist leadership -- along with that of the neighboring Yugoslav republic of Croatia -- has demanded that Yugoslavia be transformed into a looser confederation of sovereign states and have threatened secession if their demands are not met.
The hard-line Communist government of Serbia, the largest and most populous of the Yugoslav republics, has vehemently opposed abandoning Yugoslavia's 45-year-old system of centralized rule and does not plan to hold multi-party elections in the republic for at least another year.
The Slovenian declaration, which has been under discussion in the legislature since the new government took office last month, also urged that local police take control of borders with neighboring Italy and Austria, replacing Yugoslav federal guards.