Since the summer of 1991, the multi-national Yugoslav federation has stood on the verge of disintegration. With the erosion of centralized Communist Party rule, the first multi-party elections were held during 1990 in each of the country's six republics. They brought to power either pro-independence nationalist parties or reformed Communist forces espousing nationalist platforms. Despite months of negotiations, the leaders of the six republics failed to agree on a new power sharing arrangement or the maintenance of an integrated economic and military structure. As a result of the impasse, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence and undertook far-reaching steps to secede from the federation. Their decision precipitated a military intervention in the two republics by the Yugoslav federal army in a desperate effort to keep the country together. The military itself came under the increasing control of the authoritarian Serbian Socialist regime, which appeared determined to preserve the state or strengthen Serbian domination in the remaining federal structure.