During the negotiations on resolving the state crisis between the republics of the former SFRY, in 1991, the President of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tuđman, made a decision to call a referendum on the state independence of Croatia.
In a referendum held on 19 May 1991, citizens decided on Croatia's future by answering two questions.
The first question, on the blue ballot, read: Are you in favor of the Republic of Croatia, as a sovereign and independent state, which guarantees cultural autonomy and all civil rights to Serbs and members of other nationalities in Croatia, free to form an association of sovereign states with other former Yugoslav republics (according to the proposal of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia for resolving the state crisis of the SFRY).
The second question, on the red ballot, read: Are you in favor of the Republic of Croatia remaining in Yugoslavia as a single federal state (according to the proposal of the Republic of Serbia and the Socialist Republic of Montenegro for resolving the state crisis in SFRY)? According to the Report of the Republic Referendum Commission of 22 May 1991, 3,652,225 electorate voters could participate at the referendum.
A total of 3,051,881 voters or 83.56 percent of the total number of registered voters voted for the referendum question proposing independence of Croatia, presented on the blue ballot. 2,845,521 voters or 93.24 percent of those who took part in the referendum voted in favor. 126,630 voters or 4.15 percent of voters voted against. There were 1.18 percent of invalid or blank votes.
The second referendum question, proposing that Croatia should remain in Yugoslavia, was declined with 5.38 percent votes in favour (164,267 voters), 92.18 percent against (2,813,085 voters) and 2.07 percent of invalid votes. The turnout was 83.56 percent (3,051,881 voters).
Based on the direct will of the citizens in the referendum, and after the failure of further negotiations with other former Yugoslav republics on overcoming the state political crisis, the Croatian Parliament passed the Constitutional Decision on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Croatia on 25 June 1991. The outcome of the referendum was the starting point for the adoption of the Decision on the termination of the state and legal ties with other republics and provinces of Yugoslavia, which was adopted by the Croatian Parliament on October 8 of the same year when the Republic of Croatia formally and legally became an independent and sovereign state.