Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Persistent Crisis Challenges the UN System

  • Document source:
  • Date:
    1 August 1998

 [The Yugoslav] Federation is a joke. The federation is a state kept in 'reserve' by Slobodan Milosevic and he will revive this state when he needs it again at the expense of Montenegro and Serbia. (Slavko Perovic, Chairman of the Liberal Party of Montenegro)[1][1]


The recognition by Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic on 4 February 1997 of the electoral victory of the opposition, organized in the Zajedno ("Together") coalition, raised hopes among many Serbs and observers of the Serbian polity that Milosevic's political death was imminent. These same observers hoped that Zajedno could expand to a national movement in the forthcoming presidential election in Serbia. In this paper we would, however, temper this optimism. We will argue that Milosevic, a cunning politician, has not only survived politically a winter of political demonstrations in Belgrade, but he is again in full control of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Between March and July 1997, Milosevic was able to neutralize a "rebellion" in Montenegro and get elected as president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). More importantly for Milosevic, the Zajedno coalition, his main political opponent, fell apart in June 1997. In this paper we will analyze Milosevic's political comeback and his prospects of imposing his candidate, Zoran Lilic, in the forthcoming presidential election in Serbia.

Thus, a main objective of this study is to provide a detailed analysis of political trends in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We shall begin our analysis by looking at the framework of the Yugoslav federation and then go on to focus on relations between Serbia and its junior partner Montenegro as well as, briefly, on the question of Kosovo. In this way, we hope to provide a measure of the stability of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In the second part of our study we shall focus our attention on the domestic situation in Serbia. We shall examine opposition candidates' chances of winning the forthcoming presidential elections in Serbia, scheduled for the autumn of 1997.

Finally, we shall consider regional and international repercussions of the developments in the FRY, and in particular examine the prospects for refugees of returning to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We shall also briefly examine the prospects of Croats and Bosnians returning to the FRY and to the "Republika Srpska". This part of the study will deal with recent political developments in Croatia (the victory of President Franjo Tudjman in the presidential elections in June 1997) and the political turmoil in the Serbian Republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the conflict between Biljana Plavsic, on one hand, and Momcilo Krajisnik and Radovan Karadzic, on the other).


2.1     Brief Historical Overview

Since its creation in the aftermath of the First World War, the South Slav state commonly known as Yugoslavia has experienced three forms of government - a constitutional and absolute monarchy and a socialist republic - and has changed its name five times. Between 1918 and 1928, the state was constituted as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, it changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1943, the communist-led resistance under the leadership of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY), Josip Broz Tito, proclaimed the creation of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (DFY). Following liberation, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FPRY) was established on 29 November 1945. With the adoption of a new constitutional law in 1963, the state again changed its name to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). The country disintegrated under this name in 1991.[2][2]

On 27 April 1992 a third Yugoslavia was created, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), encompassing the former SFRY republics of Serbia and Montenegro and with approximately 10.5 million inhabitants. Of these Serbs constitute 62 per cent, Kosovars (ethnic Albanians) 16.6 per cent, Montenegrins 5 per cent, Hungarians 3.3 per cent, Yugoslavs (selfselected definition; often used by offspring of mixed marriages) 3.2 per cent, Muslims 3.3 per cent, and all others combined 6.3 per cent. The Belgrade government's efforts to achieve for the FRY the same successor status vis-à-vis the SFRY as the Russian Federation achieved vis-à-vis the USSR were rejected by the international community. On 19 September 1992 the UN Security Council declared that the FRY could not automatically assume UN membership as the successor state to the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The General Assembly was asked to require the FRY to apply for UN membership and in the meantime exclude it from the work of the General Assembly.[3][3] The four remaining former SFRY republics - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia - have since been recognized by the international community and have all been admitted as members of the United Nations.[4][4]

2.2     The Constitution of the FRY

The constitution of the FRY was adopted on 27 April 1992. According to the new constitution, which replaced the 1974 constitution of the SFRY, Yugoslavia is a federal state composed of citizens and member republics. The constitution of the FRY was adopted without any public debate in Serbia and Montenegro. Only 73 deputies from Serbia and Montenegro out of the 220 deputies in the last parliament (skupstina) of the SFRY voted for it. In effect, as Nebojsa Cagorovic, a political analyst from Montenegro, wrote, "the constitution was adopted illegally, without a quorum, by the dead legislature of a dead state".[5][5]

Chronologically, the constitution of the FRY was adopted after the constitution of Serbia (September 1990) and before the constitution of Montenegro (October 1992). It is a cumbersome document with many overlapping clauses. It attempts to reconcile two competing claims for sovereignities, one claimed by the federal units (republics), the other by the federal state. In this regard, the FRY constitution contains the same contradictions and tensions as the Yugoslav constitution of 1974, oscillating between a federation and a confederation. In spite of these tensions related to the issue of sovereignty, the FRY does function as a federal state, the absence of clarity over the respective competences of the federal units and the federal state being balanced by the close similarity of the interests of the political elites in Serbia and Montenegro. In fact, the constitution of the FRY was an urgent response to the political vacuum created by the disintegration of the SFRY and was adopted in the aftermath of the diplomatic recognition of Slovenia and Croatia in January 1992.

Legislative power in the FRY is exercised by a bicameral parliament (federal assembly) representing the citizens (Chamber of Citizens) and the member republics (Chamber of Republics), respectively. According to the federal electoral law, 108 deputies are elected to the Chamber of Citizens from the Republic of Serbia, while the Republic of Montenegro (with about 5 percent of the population of the FRY) has safeguarded its interests through a constitutional clause (Article 80) providing that at least 30 federal deputies are elected from Montenegro. The second federal chamber, the Chamber of Republics, consists of 40 deputies, 20 from each republic. This power-sharing agreement was created to avoid the complete domination by Serbia of its junior partner Montenegro. In both republics, federal deputies to the Chamber of Republics are elected by the respective parliaments, taking into consideration the parliamentary representation of political parties as well as independent deputies. In reality, the political party which controls the national parliament also controls representation to the federal parliament. The power base of former Serbian, now FRY, president Milosevic is the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). Similarly, Momir Bulatovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) has a majority in the national parliament of Montenegro. Thus, the federal assembly reflects the balance of political forces in the national assemblies of Serbia and Montenegro, and so far therefore the SPS and DPS have always had a majority in the federal parliament.[6][6]

Federal political power in the FRY is exercised through the relationship between the federal assembly and the federal government, whereby the federal assembly elects the federal government. The federal prime minister is the central figure in the federal government and personifies it. The candidate for this post, who is proposed by the president of the FRY, has a free hand in selecting the members of the federal government. However, the programme of the government and the composition of the federal government have to be approved by a parliamentary majority in both chambers of the federal assembly.

Executive power in the FRY is exercised jointly by the president of the republic and the federal government, who are both elected by the federal assembly. The rule is that the president of the FRY and the federal prime minister should not be from the same republic. This rule was never respected by Serbia. The first president, Dobrica Cosic, and the first federal prime minister, Milan Panic, were both from Serbia. The recent president, Zoran Lilic, and Prime Minister Radoje Kontic were also from Serbia. All four were put in power by Slobodan Milosevic, who engineered their elections through the SPS and its Montenegrin counterpart, the DPS. When Cosic and Panic went beyond the limits defined by Slobodan Milosevic, they were immediately deposed by the federal assembly, which as we have seen is controlled by the deputies of the Socialist Party of Serbia and its allies.

2.3     The Role of Milosevic

In the recent balance of forces in the Serbian polity, the federal president (Z. Lilic) and federal prime minister (R. Kontic) were figureheads, while real power was in the hands of Slobodan Milosevic as president of Serbia. They both learned their lessons from Panic and Cosic and never challenged the authority of Milosevic. Constitutionally, the president of the FRY does not exercise effective state power, but has a largely ceremonial role. His main role, beside representing the federation abroad, is to preside over the Supreme Defence Council. The latter is composed, in addition to the president of the Federation, of the presidents of member republics and high military commanders.

It is important to bear in mind that Milosevic deliberately tailored the constitution of the FRY to fit his personal needs. As long as he was the president of Serbia he wanted (constitutionally and politically) a weak president of the Yugoslav federation. A balanced relationship between the two was not in the autocratic Milosevic's interest. Now, after Milosevic had completed his second mandate as president of Serbia in June of 1997 and decided to run for the post of president of the FRY, the situation has changed. After his election on 15 July Milosevic will in all likelihood seek a change of the federal constitution to strengthen the power of the federal president. He is also likely to seek a constitutional amendment regarding the procedure of the election of the president. Milosevic would prefer the elections of the president of the FRY to be by direct popular vote, in general elections, to enhance the legitimacy and visibility of the post. On that issue Milosevic has received support from Vuk Draskovic, chairman of the Serbian Renewal Movement, a gesture which will further erode solidarity within the already weakened and depleted Zajedno coalition. To change the constitution Milosevic has to obtain a two thirds majority in the federal assembly. For the time being the Main Board of the DPS of Montenegro refuses to consider changes to the constitution, because a weak federal president better suits the national interest of Montenegro. However, the refusal of the DPS of Montenegro to consider a modification of the federal constitution is nothing more than public relations posturing, to show their alleged independence from the SPS. As Vojislav Seselj, chairman of the Radical Party, commented, "in any case Milosevic did not plan to change the constitution this year".[7][7] Milosevic, as a good tactician, follows his own agenda and has his own timetable.

Milosevic, in preparation for assuming the position of president of the FRY, already in the spring of 1997 transferred a group of his most trusted aides from Serbian to FRY political institutions. These individuals are Zoran Sokolovic, Nikola Sainovic, and Danko Djunic.[8][8] It is important to note that Milosevic's closest aide, Jovica Stanisic, is already Minister of the Interior of the FRY. These appointments show that Milosevic has already reinforced the power of the federal institutions without actually changing them.

Having been elected president of the FRY, Milosevic's next concern was to select his own candidate for the presidency of Serbia. The elections for president of Serbia will take place on 21 September 1997, probably together with parliamentary elections. The chances are good that Milosevic's candidate, Zoran Lilic, who received the backing of the SPS, will win the presidential elections. If this happens, Milosevic will then begin putting pressure on Montenegro to obtain changes in the federal constitution. The final stage in Milosevic's strategy consists of calling a new election for the presidency of the FRY (perhaps in the spring of 1998).


Because of the ethnic, religious and linguistic similarities between Serbs and Montenegrins, one would expect that the new federation would be more harmonious than the previous one -- SFRY - which included six different nations. Nevertheless, cracks that had been carefully hidden during the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have now appeared in the new Yugoslav federation. A new and fragile peace in the Balkans has revealed differences between the national interests of Montenegro and Serbia. With war solidarity gone, Montenegro has realized that, despite the Dayton agreement, Serbia remains a pariah state within the international community. Montenegro feels that the invisible wall of international sanctions imposed on Serbia is harming its own economy and international standing. In response Montenegro has begun - to use an analogy from the previous Yugoslav federation - to display a "Slovenian syndrome" in its relations with Serbia, namely, to press for greater political autonomy from its senior partner in the federation.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, a pro-western faction of the political elite within the ruling party, the DPS, has begun openly propounding a different economic and foreign policy from that of the federal government, led by the Milosevic puppet, Radoje Kontic. Djukanovic belongs to the reform-oriented wing within the socialist party. In contrast to Momir Bulatovic, chairman of the DPS, and president of Montenegro, and the closest ally of President Milosevic, Djukanovic represents a new generation of young technocrats whose prime objective is the economic development of Montenegro through cooperation with, and eventually integration within, western European international organizations such as the European Union, the Council of Europe and others. While Bulatovic supported Milosevic's war policy in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Djukanovic is now advocating speedy normalization of diplomatic relations with former Yugoslav republics, now independent states.

Djukanovic argues that Montenegro should distance itself from Serbia in both foreign and economic policy. In December 1996 the Serbian government decided, in an apparent bid to mute unrest caused by its cancellation of election results, to pay pensions, salaries, student grants and social welfare that had been in arrears. Prime Minister Djukanovic and his economic advisers feared that such payments could be made only by printing more money without reserves to back it. This in turn could trigger a disastrous hyperinflation, as happened in 1993. If hyperinflation should return, Djukanovic has threatened the Serbian government that Montenegro will introduce its own national currency, the perper.[9][9] However, Djukanovic's main offence was that he dared to express open criticism of Serbian president Milosevic. According to Djukanovic, the international image of President Milosevic is so bad that his election as president of the FRY could not but further damage the interests of the Yugoslav federation, and thus of Montenegro. Djukanovic and his economic advisers realized that Milosevic's alliance with Momcilo Krajisnik, the leader of the separatist "Republika Srpska" in Bosnia-Herzegovina, threatened to keep the FRY excluded from support of western financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The long-simmering conflict over politics and personalities, between Djukanovic on the one hand and Bulatovic and Milosevic on the other, came to a crisis in March of 1997. Djukanovic went public after he realized that his faction within the ruling party (DPS) could not impose its views over those of Bulatovic's wing, which still dominated the upper echelons of the DPS. By going public, Djukanovic took a considerable political risk. As expected he became an immediate target of the Belgrade media controlled by Milosevic. Surprisingly, he survived the first attempt by Milosevic and Bulatovic to eliminate him politically. During his protracted battle with Milosevic and Bulatovic, Djukanovic won significant public support within the DPS and even among the opposition, in the Liberal Party led by Slavko Perovic and in the Popular Party of Novak Kilibarda.[10][10] Djukanovic's resistance was supported by independent media in Belgrade (the newspapers Nasa Borba and Nin and Radio B92, Belgrade's only independent radio station) and also by the Serbian opposition organized in the Zajedno coalition. On 24 June 1997, at a meeting of the Main Board of the DPS, 56 out of the 97 members supported President Milosevic's candidacy for the presidency of FRY; 10 members abstained and 31, led by Prime Minister Djukanovic, voted against Milosevic.

The conflict between the president of Montenegro, Momir Bulatovic, and his prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, both from the ruling party (DSP), is real but does not threaten the territorial integrity of the Yugoslav Federation while Milosevic is in power. Prime Minister Djukanovic has claimed more autonomy for Montenegro within the Yugoslav Federation. He has also criticized president Milosevic in an alleged letter to the American congressmen Nick Rahall and Bruce Vento, stating that "Milosevic should not remain in Yugoslav political life".[11][11] We believe that this conflict, which was much publicized in the media in Serbia and Montenegro, should nevertheless be seen within the framework of the ongoing internal political debate in Serbia and in the Yugoslav Federation. The personal conflict between Bulatovic and Milosevic on the one hand and Djukanovic on the other started during the time of the growing importance of the Zajedno coalition in the political life of Serbia. Djukanovic, by distancing himself from Milosevic and Bulatovic, opened a dialogue with the Zajedno coalition and positioned himself for future cooperation with Zajedno. However, the problem now is that the Zajedno coalition does not have any future. It disintegrated in June when Vuk Draskovic left. Djukanovic immediately became less aggressive with regard to Milosevic. He was quoted as saying that "Montenegro has enough institutional power to oppose Milosevic's absolutist rule".[12][12] It would therefore seem that the downfall of Zajedno has been a boon for the Serbian and Montenegrin socialist parties. A political compromise between Milosevic, Bulatovic and Djukanovic is in the making. Milosevic's election in July as president of the FRY will further consolidate a marriage of interest between Serbian and Montenegrin socialists. However, this situation may change if Djukanovich wins the presidential elections in Montenegro, scheduled for October 1997.


Over the last 10 years human rights violations in Kosovo have been a permanent feature of the Serbian polity. Since the abolition of the autonomy of Kosovo in 1989 (the first gross violation of the Yugoslav Constitution of 1974 by Milosevic) the region has been on the brink of war. The ethnic Albanian majority (90 per cent of the population) is pitted against the Serbian minority (10 per cent of the population). In the view of President Milosevic the problem of Kosovo was solved with the adoption of the new Serbian constitution in 1990. When this happened the Serbs were chanting "Srbija je sada cela, nije više od tri dela".[13][13] The new Serbian constitution created a unitary state, thus abolishing the federal structure of Serbia which was, according to Milosevic, a source of tension between Serbs and Albanians. The current tensions in Kosovo, whose existence Milosevic recognized during his last visit to the region in June 1997, are caused, again according to Milosevic, by the Albanian nationalists and not by the absence of democracy in Kosovo.

It is therefore unlikely that a new president of Serbia, if he is a Milosevic nominee, will change the Serbian constitution to restore the constitutional autonomy of Kosovo. The most the Albanians of Kosovo can expect from a new Serbian president from the ranks of the Serbian Socialist Party is purely local autonomy on the municipal level. A victory for an opposition candidate, (for example Milan Panic), would be a better outcome for the Albanians of Kosovo, not least because the opposition is dominated by politicians whose principal aim is to improve the economic situation in Serbia. A condition for receiving the necessary loans from the international financial organizations is that Serbia must restore civic and political rights to the Albanian community in Kosovo. This has been clearly and repeatedly expressed by the U.S. Congress and the Clinton administration. However, so far none of the politicians from the opposition has been able to formulate a bold proposal on how to start a process of national reconciliation between the Serbs and the Albanians in Kosovo.


5.1     The Rise and Decline of the Zajedno Opposition Coalition

In the aftermath of the Dayton agreement (November 1995), Slobodan Milosevic and his Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) appeared to have reached the peak of their power. Ever since, the SPS has been losing ground, and this trend was further demonstrated by the November 1996 elections, when the SPS was defeated in municipal elections by the Zajedno opposition coalition. Although the SPS lost the municipal elections in November 1996, it succeeded on the same occasion in winning the national (parliamentary) elections jointly with its ally YUL (Yugoslav United Left), led by Mira Markovic, the wife of President Milosevic.

The Zajedno coalition was created in March 1996 as an alliance of the following parties: the Serbian Civic Forum (chairman Vesna Pesic), the Serbian Renewal Movement (chairman Vuk Draskovic) and the Democratic Party (chairman Zoran Djindjic). The Serbian Democratic Party (chairman Vojislav Kostunica), briefly joined the coalition and then left. Kostunica joined Zajedno because the very popular former governor of the Bank of Yugoslavia, Dragoslav Avramovic, also joined after he broke with Milosevic. When Abramovic left Zajedno, allegedly because of poor health, Kostunica left too.[14][14]

The Zajedno coalition was a alliance based on political expediency, which brought together politicians with very different political programmes. For example, Vuk Draskovic is a monarchist and a fervent nationalist and the programme of his party is in total opposition to the programme of the Serbian Civic Forum, led by Vesna Pesic, who is republican, cosmopolitan and an anti-war activist. In addition, the personal rivalry between Vuk Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic was a serious threat to the Zajedno coalition from its creation, especially since both politicians wanted the support of the Zajedno coalition in the Serbian presidential elections. The only political aim that could unite the members of Zajedno was the desire to remove Milosevic and his left bloc from power. They disagree on everything else. Once in power, the members of Zajedno were incapable of developing a common programme to govern effectively. The journalist of the independent Belgrade newspaper Nasa Borba, Branislav Milosevic, commented:

The Zajedno coalition took power and almost instantly fell apart. The contradictions in the political programmes of the three members of the Zajedno coalition and their personal rivalries surfaced in all cities they run together.[15][15]

In Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina and Serbia's second-largest city, the Zajedno opposition alliance turned "victory into complete defeat" after just four months in office, according to Novi Sad Mayor Mihajlo Slivar, himself a member of the Zajedno coalition.[16][16] In Novi Sad there is now a new political configuration in the process of being constructed, with Zajedno looking for a new political alliance in Vojvodina. They are ready to work with the local "Vojvodina coalition" whose chairman Nenad Canak is a supporter of local autonomy. Canak is a young and well educated politician who in 1991, during the Serbo-Croatian war, organized a peace movement in Vojvodina. He was forcibly drafted by the Serbian government and sent to the front in Vukovar. Canak and his coalition partners in the "Vojvodina coalition" are determined to restore the region's autonomous status, which Milosevic abolished in 1989 together with Kosovo's autonomy. Thus, there is a trend in the Serbian polity toward further fragmentation, both regional and political. An effective united opposition, capable of challenging President Milosevic on the national level, seems to be a pipe dream.

5.2     Milosevic Consolidates his Power

Barred by the Serbian constitution from seeking a third term as president of Serbia, Milosevic succeeded in getting elected by the federal parliament as president of the FRY, with a four year mandate. The 138-member lower house (Chamber of Citizens) of the federal parliament elected Milosevic by 88 votes to 10. The vote in the upper house (Chamber of Republics) was 29 to 2.[17][17]

Threatened by the possibility - though how strong is uncertain - that the candidate or candidates of the opposition could defeat Milosevic's candidate in the elections for Serbian president, his most urgent task now, after securing the federal presidency for himself, is to promote Zoran Lilic, the candidate of the SPS, as president of Serbia.

The political decline of the Socialist Party of Serbia, which President Milosevic has attempted to slow down, if not prevent altogether, by bringing in his trusted allies (e.g. Milorad Vucelic, Zeljko Simic, Ratomir Vico, Radovan Pankov) does not necessarily mean a decline in the popularity of President Milosevic himself, who still remains the strongman of Serbia and of the Yugoslav federation. Milosevic's powerbase in Serbia is the police (80,000-90,000), the State Treasury and his control of the media, in particular the Serbian State Television.

To enhance his personal power and to facilitate the victory of the SPS candidate in the presidential election, Milosevic is likely to concetrate on short term improvements to the Serbian economy. To this end the Serbian government has sold off a 49 per cent share of the state telecommunications monopoly, for which Greek and Italian telecommunications companies paid US$ 907 million, of which 80 per cent was paid immediately in desperately needed cash.[18][18] This money will be used by the Serbian government to pay overdue wages and retirement benefits. Employees of the state-run companies, health workers and teachers have not received salaries for months. Unemployment is approaching 50 per cent and social discontent is affecting all segments of Serbian society.[19][19]

Time and again Milosevic has blamed the West for the economic hardships of Serbia. For ordinary citizens an injection of hard currency into the Serbian economy will temporarily improve the standard of living; in return, Milosevic hopes they may reward a socialist candidate at the elections. Thus, one of the most important objectives of the Serbian government in the next couple of months is to preserve social peace until the presidential elections are over.

5.3     The SPS Candidate for the Presidential Elections and Other Socialist Leaders[20][20]

Zoran Lilic

Somewhat surprisingly Zoran Lilic, the former president of the FRY, has been selected as the presidential candidate for the SPS. As FRY president, Lilic was regarded as the puppet of the then Serbian president Milosevic. His main handicap is that he was too closely associated with Milosevic and completely dependent on him. If Serbian voters prefer a candidate who has a stronger personality, and a certain degree of autonomy with regard to Milosevic, then Lilic does not stand a chance of winning. On the other hand a victory for Lilic, which would in reality be a victory for Milosevic, would demonstrate that the real master of Serbia is Milosevic. Should Lilic win, others who would play prominent roles in the Serbian polity are Milorad Vucelic, Dragan Tomic and Mira Markovic.

Milorad Vucelic

An important influence within the SPS and a name often mentioned in interviews in Serbia is Milorad Vucelic. This former journalist, who was also a director of the Serbian State Television, is a long-time ally and personal friend of President Milosevic. Vucelic left the SPS in 1993 after he was dismissed as a director of STV. Since then, he has been building a prosperous private company involved in publishing and the entertainment industry. In March 1997 Vucelic was called by Milosevic to be one of four vice presidents of SPS in order to revive the ailing party. Vucelic also has excellent relations with Milo Djukanovic and "rebels" in the DPS of Montenegro. He plays an important role in reconciling Milosevic and Djukanovic. So far Vucelic seems to have been successful in that Djukanovic has softened his criticism of Milosevic.

Dragan Tomic

The current interim president of Serbia, Dragan Tomic, will continue to exert strong influence on the SPS. He is also chairman of the Serbian National Assembly and by the time the presidential elections take place Tomic will have held the post of interim president of Serbia for several months.

Mira Markovic

Another strong influence is Mira Markovic, the wife of Slobodan Milosevic, who enjoys the support of all left-wing parties in Serbia. However, she was not able to muster enough support to gain the presidential nomination of the SPS.

Mira Markovic is a sociology professor at the University of Belgrade. She is a convinced marxist and a true believer who deems that the future belongs to communism. In the Serbian ideological spectrum Mrs Markovic and her party, the Yugoslav United Left, represent a radical left when compared with the SPS.

When the YUL was openly criticized by Mihajlo Markovic, former vice-president of the SPS and a chief ideologue of the Serbian socialists, for being a party of "Yugo-nostalgics", Mrs Markovic responded vigorously calling him an old communist turned nationalist.[21][21] Mira Markovic was right about the ideological conversion of such old marxist philosophers as Mihajlo Markovic, Svetozar Stojanovic and others who became the new ideologues of the SPS, blending socialism and ethnic nationalism. Mihajlo Markovic's extreme nationalism was so out of tune with post-Dayton Serbia that even Slobodan Milosevic considered him an outdated politician. Milosevic thus dismissed Mihajlo Markovic not just to please his wife, but for reasons of political expediency.

Mrs Markovic's political and ideological profile corresponds in many ways to that of the Russian communist leader Gennadi Zyguanov. They both still believe in a form of utopian socialism, yet to come, as an alternative to Western capitalism. It is not an accident that Mrs Markovic was admitted as an honorary member to the Russian Academy of Sciences.[22][22] As a social scientist, Mrs Markovic was well received by former Soviet "state" philosophers, who are still active in the institutes dependent on the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Mrs Markovic has never publicly embraced extreme Serbian nationalism. She considers herself a Serb and a Yugoslav. After Slobodan Milosevic failed to create a Greater Serbia, Mrs Markovic's ideas for the national reconciliation of the South Slavs are more readily accepted by some categories of Serbian society. The Serbs and Montenegrins who are receptive to the political program of the YUL are the well educated urban dwellers, who were considered the "red bourgeoisie" in the previous regime. In addition, some artists and writers are close to Mrs Markovic. The best known is Ljubisa Ristic, a talented theatre director who is also one of the founders of the YUL.

Uros Suvakovic

Representing a different strand within the SPS is Uros Suvakovic, a politician of the younger generation and a truly charismatic personality, who was frequently mentioned by Serbian media as a likely presidential candidate.

The outcome of the presidential election will be decided as much by the weakness of the opposition to the SPS as by the strength of Milosevic's chosen candidate, Zoran Lilic. Indeed the socialists are banking on a divided opposition fielding an array of candidates, none of whom would be likely to take the 50 per cent of the vote needed for a first round victory. With at least half a dozen potential candidates facing the candidate of the SPS, there is a good chance that the opposition vote would be split, thus allowing the SPS candidate to win the election. Aleksandar Tijanic, the editor of an independent newspaper, and until December 1996 minister of information in the Serbian government, has said in this respect:

The votes of the opposition will be divided between several candidates so that the handicaps of the Socialist Party [candidate] will be counterbalanced by the division of the opposition.[23][23]

The best outcome for Zoran Lilic as the candidate of the SPS would of course be a straight victory in the first round of the elections. The next best outcome for him is that he or she goes into the second round with the candidate of the Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj. It is almost certain that many Zajedno voters, faced with the choice between a socialist candidate and a frankly fascist candidate (Seselj is a Serbian Zhirinovskii) would rather vote in the run-off for a socialist candidate.

5.4     The Candidates of the Opposition

Bogoljub Karic

A Serbian businessman and former Milosevic ally, he is one of the strongest candidates for the presidential race among opposition candidates. He is the richest man in Serbia and owns its TV network. Karic has amassed a fund of US$ 50 million to launch his own election campaign.[24][24] Karic has said in an interview in the Belgrade weekly Nin that in case of victory, he may consider offering the post of prime minister of Serbia to Zoran Djindjic, the chairman of the Democratic Party and a member of the now defunct Zajedno coalition. Another seasoned politician who fits the profile of a potential prime minister also mentioned by Karic, is Vojo Kostunica, chairman of the Serbian Democratic Party.[25][25] Kostunica is a well educated right-wing politician who can appeal to the Serbian middle class. A dissident in communist Yugoslavia, after 1990 Kostunica was in the opposition to President Milosevic. Unlike Vojislav Seselj, with whom Kostunica shares an extreme Serbian nationalism, Kostunica did not participate personally in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Before Bogoljub Karic broke with Milosevic he profited greatly from doing business with the Serbian government, who awarded his firms many contracts. On the other hand, Karic, who also has a network of companies abroad, helped Serbia and Milosevic's governments to minimize economic losses during the time when Serbia was under international economic embargo. Bogoljub Karic also financed translation and publication of the books of Mira Markovic as well as the foreign trips she undertook to promote her books. Mrs Markovic acted as an ambassador of the FRY, whose objective was to neutralize the diplomatic isolation of Serbia during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Karic broke with Milosevic during the season of street demonstrations in Belgrade during the winter of 1996-1997, calculating - wrongly - that Milosevic was a spent force, and began a political dialogue with the Zajedno coalition.

Milan Panic

The Serbia-born American pharmaceutical tycoon who lost the presidential election to Slobodan Milosevic in 1992, is also a serious candidate in the forthcoming elections. His chance of winning will be greatly enhanced if he can get support from what remains of the Zajedno coalition.

Panic returned to former Yugoslavia in July 1992 at the invitation of Milosevic to serve as prime minister of what was left of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Milosevic had clearly hoped that Panic and Dobrica Cosic, who was elected at the same time as president of the FRY, would legitimize his policy of ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and provide a cover for the creation of a greater Serbia. When Panic realized that Milosevic was the principal obstacle to peace in the Balkans he was quickly dismissed by Milosevic, who subsequently defeated him in the 1992 presidential elections in Serbia. Douglas E. Schoen, who managed Panic's presidential campaign, wrote that "the Serbian election was a fraud" and that Milosevic had "stolen the elections".[26][26]

Vojislav Seselj

Following the November 1996 municipal elections, the chairman of the Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj, is also Mayor of the city of Zemun (adjacent to Belgrade and with 200,000 inhabitants). His party received 18 per cent of the national vote, just 3 per cent less than the Zajedno opposition coalition received.

The good results obtained in the November 1996 elections have encouraged Seselj to enter the presidential race as the sole candidate of his Radical Party, although he may already have been indicted as a war-criminal on the secret list of the Tribunal in the Hague. If Seselj does not make it to the second round of the presidential elections, the critical question is which candidate will get his votes. There are several possible combinations and outcomes. Seselj may suggest that his voters abstain altogether or vote for the socialist candidate. He may also suggest that his electorate vote for Vuk Draskovic if the latter makes it to the second round. It is not likely that Seselj will advocate support for Djindjic, Karic or Panic, if they make it to the second round.

Vuk Draskovic

Since Vuk Draskovic created the Serbian Renewal Movement his political metamorphoses have been so frequent that it is hard to believe that same person could say, almost in the same breath, first one thing and then its opposite. Draskovic, in fact, does have a split political personality, well illustrated by Timothy Garton Ash, a fine analyst of East European politics, who wrote:

Politically, he [Vuk Draskovic] is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. When he talks about the past, about the atrocities committed by the Croat Ustashe during the Second World War, he is the old Mr Hyde, the writer whose fiery language helped to inflame Serb nationalist feelings in the 1980s. When he talks about the present, he is Dr Jekyll, swiftly hitting all the Western semantic keys - "human rights, "regional cooperation", "peaceful change", "the right of refugees to return to their homes" - but also referring with justifiable pride to his own record of opposition to Milosevic's war. Behind this Jekyll and Hyde there is the unmistakable silhouette of an old Sixty-Eighter, one of that last defining generation of student activists, now to be found in high places all over Europe."[27][27]

Zoran Dindjic

Zoran Djindjic will be a presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. His longlasting rivalry with Vuk Draskovic is what finally tore apart the Zajedno coalition. They both have the ambition to become the next president of Serbia and the Zajedno coalition could not accommodate both politicians as candidates for a single position.


One among the many questions that the international community is seeking to answer in the aftermath of Milosevic's election as president of the FRY is whether or not during his tenure the FRY will develop a new regional foreign policy, particularly towards Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. If the FRY adopts a more conciliatory policy towards the Muslim-Croat federation and Croatia as well, and if at the same time Milosevic puts more pressure on the leadership of the "Republika Srpska", then the prospects for the return of the refugees in the region of former Yugoslavia will increase significantly.

6.1     The Relationship Between the FRY and Croatia

Just as the conflict between the Serbs and Croats was absolutely critical in the process of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, so the partial normalization of relations between Croatia and the FRY is equally crucial to achieve a minimum degree of stability in the region. We are convinced that Croatia and Serbia hold the keys to the stability of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well. The two key political players in Serbia and Croatia, Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman, have both been recently elected. Milosevic's mandate is for four years, while Tudjman's is for five. Therefore no new political figures are likely, in the short term, to emerge in either country, who would be capable of modifying the policy agreed to in the Dayton accords. President Clinton's recent decision to send his special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who negotiated the Dayton accords, to the Balkans takes this fact into account. With "new old" players back at the negotiating table we may expect a certain degree of cooperation between Croatia and the FRY, with Richard Holbrooke brandishing the big stick behind them.

At present, the relations between Serbia (FRY) and Croatia could be defined as neither peace nor war. The countries have established diplomatic relations - on 9 September 1996, Croatia and the FRY exchanged diplomatic letters upgrading their respective liaison offices to embassy status and establishing full diplomatic relations.[28][28] However, exchange between the citizens of the two countries is not desired by either side. Both Croats and Serbs need visas to travel in each others' countries. Direct trade between the FRY and Croatia, who were the major trading partners in the former Yugoslavia, remains negligible. Both countries have reoriented their foreign trade, Croats towards the West, Serbs towards the South and the East (Greece, Romania, Russia).

Although the Dayton accords seem to be in disarray in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Eastern Slavonia they have produced good results. Under the remarkable leadership of General Jacques Klein the integration of Eastern Slavonia and its Serbian minority into the political system of Croatia is going relatively smoothly. So far, 112,000 local Serbs in Eastern Slavonia have received Croatian citizenship papers.[29][29] The first Croatian refugees have returned after almost six years of exile. At the same time, General Klein has tamed the Croatian zeal that threatened brutally to impose Croatian sovereignty over the Serbian community in Eastern Slavonia. To give more time to the Serbs and Croats to learn how to live together, General Klein requested that the Security Council of the UN extend the mandate of the UN mission (UNTAES), originally due to expire on 15 July 1997. This was granted, and the UN mission will now continue through 15 January 1998. The postponement of Croatian sovereignty over Eastern Slavonia, sought by American diplomacy, sent a clear message to President Tudjman to be less triumphant in his attituded to the Serbian minority in Croatia. Klein's handling of Serbo-Croat relations has prevented a massive exodus of the Serbs to adjacent Serbia. Inducing the Serbian minority in Eastern Slavonia into cooperation with the UN authority and with the Croatian government was a key objective of General Klein, and as a policy has served to keep Serbia at bay.

At the same time General Klein, at the request of the International War-Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, organized the arrest of the presumed war criminal Slavko Dokmanovic, accused of responsibility for the massacre at Ovcare (a site near Vukovar). This action demonstrated that General Klein did not consider that pacific coexistence between Serbs and Croats in Eastern Slavonia would be compatible with the presence of war criminals in the region. In Eastern Slavonia the worst atrocities were committed against Croatian civilians, particularly in the town of Vukovar, during the autumn of 1991. On 7 November 1991, Yugoslav Army (JNA) forces rounded up the patients of the hospital in Vukovar; 261 patients, all men and none of them Serb, were taken to a site in Ovcare and then executed. In 1996, the investigators of the Hague tribunal exhumed some 200 bodies from mass graves nearby. At the time of the massacre Dokmanovic was the head of the Vukovar municipal government.[30][30] Such events have made it essential to bring war criminals to justice even before starting the process of national reconciliation between Serbs and Croats. In interviews with officials of the Croatian foreign ministry in Zagreb, during June-July 1997, I was told that Croatia was basically satisfied with the outcomes of the UN mission and the attitude of Milosevic and Serbia regarding the process of gradual integration of Eastern Slavonia into Croatia.

There is one particular problem that needs to be resolved in order to improve the relations between Serbia and Croatia in Eastern Slavonia, namely the question of dual citizenship. Croatia and the FRY are at present negotiating provision for granting dual citizenship to the Serbs in Eastern Slavonia and to Croats living in the FRY. There are, according to Croat sources, about 200,000 Croats in the FRY.[31][31] Croatia, which does recognize dual citizenship, is ready to sign an agreement with the FRY, regulating this question on the basis of reciprocity. The question of dual citizenship is more problematic for the FRY, where it is not at present recognized. The FRY would prefer to limit the availability of dual citizenship only to the Croats in the FRY, in a separate agreement with Croatia. The Yugoslav federation, which has a large Albanian minority in Kosovo, a Hungarian minority in Vojvodina and a Muslim minority in Sandjak (called Raska by the Serbs), fear that the availability of dual citizenship for all citizens of the FRY could induce these minorities to apply for citizenship of Albania, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The FRY government wants to avoid such a situation at any cost, fearing that the creation of "soft borders", through dual citizenship, would weaken the political, national and eventually even territorial integrity of the FRY. It is important to note that while the FRY and Croatia are discussing the issue of dual citizenship, the Serbian authorities are conducting a policy of ethnic cleansing toward Croats who are citizens of the FRY. Examples of this were reported in the city of Zemun, whose mayor is Vojislav Seselj. In July two Croatian families were evicted from their homes.[32][32]

Croatia and the FRY have signed, on 23 August 1996, an agreement whose objective (at least on paper) was a comprehensive normalization of the relations between the two countries.[33][33] This agreement stipulated (Article 7) that all refugees can return to their homes or to the places they have chosen. The two states also agreed that refugees will be able to repossess their belongings. In cases where this was not possible they would receive compensation from the governments of Croatia and of the FRY. A year after the conclusion of this agreement the results remain feeble. Apart from the progress made in Eastern Croatia, the two countries have prevented any large scale return of refugees to their homes. Croatia was unwilling to allow such a return to Krajina on the grounds that a massive return of Serbian refugees to Croatia would create, in the long term, a similar situation as that which prevailed in Croatia in 1989-1990, when the Serbian minority took up arms against the emerging Croatian state. This position was explicitly stated by President Tudjman during his visit to Vukovar in June of 1997. Tudjman went on to say:

[...] The return of all 150,000-200,000 [Serbs] which would restore strife and war, is out of the question. And no one in the world can force us to do so. After all, they [Serbs] do not want it themselves, more than 90 percent do not want to come back."[34][34]

According to the estimates of the American ambassador in Croatia, Peter W. Galbraith, between 30,000 and 50,000 Serb refugees who left Croatia in the summer of 1995 would like to return to Croatia.[35][35]

6.2     FRY Policy Towards Bosnia-Herzegovina and the "Republika Srpska"

Relations between the FRY and Bosnia-Herzegovina are practically non-existent. However, relations between the FRY and the Serbian Republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina ("Republika Srpska") are well developed, and the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina will depend upon the evolution of this relationship. Until 1994 the relations between President Milosevic and the leaders of "Republika Srpska" (Karadjic, Mladic, Plavsic, Koljevic, Buha and Krajisnik) were harmonious. Together, they planned the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina with the objective of annexing the lion's share of its territory into Greater Serbia. Relations between Belgrade and Pale only became strained over the issue of how to end the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Milosevic considered the Vance-Owen plan a good strategy for ending the war, both for the FRY and for the "Republika Srpska" in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mladic, Karadjic, and Plavsic were against the Vance-Owen plan and argued instead that as much as possible of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be annexed to the FRY. This was at a time when the Bosnian Serb army controlled almost 70 per cent of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since the collapse of the Vance-Owen plan, personal relations between Milosevic and Karadjic have been strained.

Personal conflicts in the relationship between Belgrade and Pale did not affect economic, military and other relations between the FRY and the "Republika Srpska". The FRY is still today paying and arming the Bosnian Serb army. Milosevic's total control over the Bosnian Serbs was asserted on many occasions. It was, in effect, Milosevic who negotiated the Dayton accords on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs,[36][36] and it was Milosevic and Ambassador Holbrooke who negotiated the departure of Karadjic from the political life of Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1996. After the alleged withdrawal of Karadjic from public life, Biljana Plavsic became the president of the "Republika Srpska", while Milosevic kept an eye on the Bosnian Serbs through his proxy Momcilo Krajisnik, a member of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Krajisnik is a hardliner who has always followed the Karadjic-Mladic line of total confrontation with the Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina and has systematically blocked any kind of cooperation with the Croat-Muslim federation.

Biljana Plavsic, once she became president of the "Republika Srpska" began to depart from the previous policy, implemented by Karadjic-Krajisnik. The main reason for the political divorce between Plavsic and Karadjic was the catastrophic economic situation of the "Republika Srpska". Plavsic considered that Krajisnik, Karadjic and Dragan Kijac (the minister of the Interior) were draining the "Republika Srpska" by the enterprises they controlled (among others, Selekt-Impeks and Centreks) not paying taxes to the state treasury.[37][37]

Plavsic soon found herself in a difficult position: how to govern her statelet with an empty state treasury. She had to explain to the population of "Republika Srpska" why the economic situation remained so bad in spite of the fact that the war ended two years previously. She could always say in her defence that the international community remained hostile to the "Republika Srpska" because of its refusal to cooperate with the Muslim-Croat federation. Nevertheless, the reports of corruption in the ranks of the SDS (Serbian Democratic Party) were so frequent that she was forced to act. To get rid of the Karadjic-Krajisnik faction which was withholding considerable state revenue Mrs Plavsic needed help from Belgrade, help that was unlikely to be forthcoming from the Milosevic-Markovic combination since in particular Mrs Markovic has long been antagonistic to Mrs Plavsic, regarding her as a right-winger and a nationalist. It is important to bear in mind that Biljana Plavsic is a strong Serbian nationalist who maintained friendly relations throughout the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the now notorious war criminal Zeljko Raznjatovic-Arkan. She was also opposed to the Vance-Owen plan. Thus, Plavsic could not count on many friends in Belgrade. To make thinks worse, Mrs Plavsic sympatized with the Belgrade students and the Zajedno opposition, who were demonstrating against Milosevic in the winter of 1996-1997. A further result of this is that Mrs Plavsic has also lost the hope of support from Milosevic in her fight with the faction from Pale (Plavsic's headquarters are in the city of Banja Luka).

To outflank the influence of Biljana Plavsic and to boost their own political rating, which was seriously threatened in February 1997, Milosevic and Krajisnik prepared an agreement between the FRY and the "Republika Srpska". The document is entitled "Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska" and was signed on 28 February 1997 by Zoran Lilic for the FRY and by Momcilo Krajisnik for the "Republika Srpska" in the absence of Biljana Plavsic who snubbed the signing ceremony in Belgrade.[38][38] After the agreement was signed Mrs Plavsic's reaction was to minimize its importance, saying: "The agreement is empty of content. In addition, it violates the Constitution of "Republika Srpska" and I refused to sign it."[39][39]

While it must be regarded as unlikely that Mrs Plavsic will cooperate in earnest with the West on the two issues critical to the success of the Dayton accords - the extradition to the Hague tribunal of suspected war criminals from the territory of the "Republika Srpska" and the return of the Croat and Muslim refugees to the territory of the "Republika Srpska" in significant numbers - she nevertheless needs the help of the West in order to achieve her immediate objective of winning the political battle against Karadjic. She also needs to obtain economic assistance from the international organizations to stop the demographic haemmorhage of Serbs from the "Republika Srpska" - the Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina of 1.3 million before the war having dropped to an estimated 900,000 today. Mrs Plavsic is well aware that the protracted economic decline of the "Republika Srpska" will continue to reduce its population, particularly what is left of its much needed middle class.

6.3     International and U.S. Policy Towards the FRY and Croatia

It is now clear that the U.S. envoy to Bosnia, Robert Gelbard, who was appointed by the new Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was unable to make headway in the implementation of the Dayton accords in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Subsequently, Gelbard received assistance from Bill Richardson, the U.S. ambassador to the UN who also travelled to the region without accomplishing much. The two U.S. envoys were unable to persuade Serbia and Croatia to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal and they also failed to convince the two countries to allow the return of the refugees to their homes. The FRY is already on the "black" list of the international financial organizations (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank) and within these institutions the U.S. is in effect also blocking loans to Serbia. Croatia's unwillingness to allow the return of Serbian refugees who fled Croatia in the summer of 1995 (during Operation Storm), has brought her too into the same league of outcasts. On 1 July 1997, under pressure from the U.S., the World Bank postponed indefinitely a vote on a US$ 30 million loan to Croatia.[40][40] It seems that Serbia and Croatia for the time being prefer to endure the weight of economic sanctions instead of changing their policies to meet the Dayton obligations.

Thus, President Clinton's appointment of Richard Holbrooke to his mission came at a moment of diplomatic stalemate in the Balkans, and at a time when Madeleine Albright, who has invested a great deal of time and energy in speeding up the implementation of the Dayton accords, was in need of some help to put the Dayton accords on the track. However, after a four day tour of the capitals of the former Yugoslavia (Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo) and of Banja Luka, capital of the "Republika Srpska", Ambassador Holbrooke was forced to return to the U.S. emptyhanded. The Western countries have already used economic sanctions against Serbia and Croatia, and Holbrooke therefore found himself without any means of coercion to employ on Milosevic and Tudjman. In any event it was perhaps unlikely that President Milosevic would make any significant concession to the West less than two months before the Serbian presidential elections.


The euphoria of February, when a weakened Slobodan Milosevic bowed to three months of street protests in Belgrade and recognized opposition victories in local elections, has fizzled. The opposition coalition, Zajedno (Together), has all but disintegrated as its two main leaders, Vuk Draskovic and Belgrade's mayor, Zoran Djindjic, squabble about its future composition and argue over who will run for Serbia's president sometime this year.[41][41]

The above is a very accurate description of the current political situation in Serbia and the FRY. Between February and June of 1997, Milosevic was an extremely vulnerable president of Serbia. Two main forces were working towards his downfall: in Serbia the Zajedno coalition, and in Montenegro Prime Minister Djukanovic with his followers as well as the Montenegrin opposition. However, disunity within Zajedno and later its disintegration gave Milosevic a substantial breathing space, and thus room to manoeuvre. Once Zajedno began to disintegrate, Prime Minister Djukanovic, who was too weak to confront Milosevic and his president Bulatovic alone, began to soften his criticism of Milosevic. The election of Milosevic as president of the FRY gave him a boost and a momentum which he used to promote his candidate for the presidential elections in Serbia. If Milosevic's candidate wins the presidential elections in Serbia, Milosevic will again become a central figure in Balkan politics, one with whom the West and the broader international community will have to continue to reckon.

The future of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia qua federation thus hinges critically on the political prospects of Slobodan Milosevic himself. To date, Milosevic has proved adept at penetrating the Montenegrin as well as the Serbian political establishments, in the process guaranteeing political primacy for himself, whether as head of state of the Serbian republic within the FRY or as president of the FRY itself. While the federal form of the state has been preserved, strong tendencies on the one hand toward confederalism and even dissolution (reflecting the distinct national interests of Montenegro) and on the other toward unitarism (reflecting Milosevic's autocratic political instincts) coexist within the federal framework of Yugoslav statehood. Milosevic has provided both the driving force behind the federation and the cohesion that has preserved it as well as it has been since 1992.

However, he has also in the very recent past become an unintentional catalyst for an anti-federal Montenegrin analysis of the extent to which an economically and politically isolated FRY serves the interests of the Montenegrin Republic. In the absence of Milosevic it would be an open question how long the increasingly divergent national interests of the Montenegrin nation as well as its political elite can be contained within a meaningful common federal structure. In the long run, the preservation of the Yugoslav federation would seem to require that Serbia institute major changes of both leadership and policy so as to make continued voluntary association with Montenegro a viable political proposition to the latter. The longer Milosevic remains in power in the FRY, the less likely such a development becomes, and the greater the resentment within Montenegro at what is increasingly seen as enforced association with Milosevic's Serbia. The Serbian-Montenegrin union could continue to exist within an effectively unitary or consensual federal/confederal framework. But a multinational Ersatz federation like Milosevic's FRY is not likely to endure long past the political demise of Milosevic himself - as the fate of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia before it would suggest.


Ash, T.G. "Serbia's Great March". The New York Review of Books. Vol. 44, No. 7 (24 April 1997). Pp. 25-6.

Cagorovic, Neboisa. "Conflicting Constitutions in Serbia and Montenegro". Transition [Prague]. Vol. 3, No. 4 (7 March 1997).

Croatian Government Bulletin [Zagreb]. "Address of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman in Vukovar, June 8, 1997". No. 1-2 (May-June 1997).

Economist. "House Hopping". 24 May 1997.

Financial Times. Guy Dinmore. "Milosevic Voted Yugoslav Leader". 16 July 1997.

The Globe and Mail [Toronto]. Alan Freeman. "Milosevic Moves to Maintain Power". 11 April 1997.

Globus [Zagreb]. Davor Butkovic and Mio Vesovic. "Interview with the American Ambassador in Croatia". 3 June 1997.

Lukic, Renéo and Allen Lynch. "La paix américaine pour les Balkans". Études Internationales [Québec]. Vol. 27, No. 3 (September 1996). Pp. 553-569.

Lukic, Renéo and Allen Lynch. Europe from the Balkans to the Urals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Markovic, Mira. Izmedju Istoka i Juga [Between East and South]. Belgrade: BMG, 1996.

Le Monde [Paris]. Florence Hartmann. "La dame à la marguerite". 24 May 1995.

Nasa Borba [Belgrade]. Branislav Milosevic. "Gde smo, tu smo [Here we are]". 5-6 April 1997.

The New York Times. Chris Hedges. "Now TV Interrupts Milosevic's Programming". 9 February, 1997.

The New York Times. Chris Hedges. "Wanted Serb Not Only Lives Free, but Prospers". 6 April 1997.

The New York Times. Steven Lee Myers. "Serb is Held in the Killing of 261 Croats". 28 June 1997.

The New York Times. Steven Lee Myers. "World Bank, at U.S. Urging, Postpones Vote on Loan to Croatia". 2 July 1997.

The New York Times. Jane Perlez. "Milosevic Trades Top Serbian Post for Yugoslav Presidency". 7 July 1997.

The New York Times Magazine. Douglas E. Schoen. "How Milosevic Stole the Election". 14 February 1993.

Nin [Belgrade]. Ljubica Gojgic. "Ciji krst oni nose? [Whose cross do they bear?]". 28 February 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. Slobodan Rackovic. "Zastrasivanje perperom [Threatening with the 'perper']". 21 March 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. Milo Gligorijevic. "Protiv sejanja magle [Against selling the fog]". 21 March 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. "Kako izbeci levicu [How to avoid the left]". 4 April 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. Milan Nikolic. "Nema neresenih rebusa [There are no unsolved puzzles]". 11 April 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. Dragan Bujosevic. "Reciklaza na Milosevicevom dvoru [Milosevic recycles his used politicians]". 25 April 1997.

Nin [Belgrade]. Petar Ignja. "Obicna zavera vlasti [This is just an ordinary conspiracy of the government]". 2 May 1997.

Politika [Belgrade]. A. Knezevic. "Dvojno dr_avljanstvo ostaje kljucno pitanje [Dual citizenship remains the key question]". 22 April 1997.

Politika [Belgrade]. "Milo Djukanovic nastavlja da rusi S.R. Jugoslaviju [Milo Djukanovic continues to Destroy FR of Yugoslavia]". 18 March 1997.

Review of International Affairs [Belgrade]. "Agreement on Normalization of Relations Between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia". No. 1048 (15 September 1996).

Review of International Affairs [Belgrade]. "Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska". Vol. 48, No. 1053-1054 (15 February 1997).

United Nations, General Assembly, A/RES/47/1, 22 September 1992;

A/RES/46/236, A/RES/46/237 and A/RES/46/238, 22 May 1992; A/RES/47/225, 8 April 1993.

United Nations, Security Council, S/RES/777, 19 September 1992

Vjesnik [Zagreb]. Vinka Drezga. "Pregovri o dvojnom drzavljanstvu odgadjaju se do ljeta [The negotiations about dual citizenship are postponed till the summer]". 8 April 1997.

Vjesnik [Zagreb]. Vesna Fabris Peruncic. "Prihvatili Milosevica, odbili Miloseviceve ustavne promjene [Milosevic Yes, constitutional changes No]". 25 June 1997.

Vreme [Belgrade]. Velizar Brajovic. "Najlepsi zatvor na svetu [The most beautiful prison in the world]". 31 August 1996.

Washington Post. Jonathan Randal. "Serbian President Milosevic Confounds Critics by Regaining Political Currency". 14 June 1997.

Washington Post. Jonathan Randal. "In Office Only 4 Months, Together Comes Apart in Serbia". 4 May 1997.

[1][1] Vreme [Belgrade], Velizar Brajovic, "Najlepsi zatvor na svetu [The most beautiful prison in the world]", 31 August 1996, p. 18

[2][2] Renéo Lukic and Allen Lynch, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 57

[3][3] United Nations, Security Council, S/RES/777, 19 September 1992 and United Nations, General Assembly, A/RES/47/1, 22 September 1992

[4][4] United Nations, General Assembly, A/RES/46/236 (Slovenia), A/RES/46/237 (Bosnia and Herzegovina), A/RES/46/238 (Croatia), 22 May 1992; United Nations, General Assembly, A/RES/47/225 (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), 8 April 1993

[5][5] Neboisa Cagorovic, "Conflicting Constitutions in Serbia and Montenegro", Transition [Prague], Vol. 3, No. 4 (7 March 1997), p. 28

[6][6] Ibid. p. 29

[7][7] Vjesnik [Zagreb], Vesna Fabris Peruncic, "Prihvatili Milosevica, odbili Miloseviceve ustavne promjene [Milosevic Yes, constitutional changes No], 25 June 1997, p. 8

[8][8] Nin [Belgrade], Dragan Bujosevic, "Reciklaza na Milosevicevom dvoru [Milosevic recycles his used politicians], 25 April 1997, p. 19

[9][9] Nin [Belgrade], Slobodan Rackovic, "Zastrasivanje perperom [Threatening with the Perper]", 21 March 1997, p. 21

[10][10] Nin [Belgrade], Petar Ignja, "Obicna zavera vlasti [This is just an ordinary conspiracy of the Government]", 2 May 1997, p. 15. The article is an interview with Novak Kilibarda.

[11][11] Politika [Belgrade], "Milo Djukanovic nastavlja da rusi S.R. Jugoslaviju [Milo Djukanovic continues to destroy FR of Yugoslavia]", 18 March 1997, p. 2. Djukanovic claimed that the alleged letter published by the Politika was a fake.

[12][12] Washington Post, Jonathan Randal, "Serbian President Milosevic Confounds Critics by Regaining Political Currency", 14 June 1997

[13][13]  "Serbia is now one country; it is not split anymore in three parts"

[14][14] Nin [Belgrade], Milo Gligorijevic, "Protiv sejanja magle [Against selling the fog]", 21 March 1997, p. 14. This is an interview with Kostunica.

[15][15] Nasa Borba [Belgrade], Branislav Milosevic, "Gde smo, tu smo [Here we are]", 5-6 April 1997, p. 7

[16][16] Washington Post, Jonathan Randal, "In Office Only 4 Months, Together Comes Apart in Serbia", 4 May 1997

[17][17] Financial Times, Guy Dinmore, "Milosevic Voted Yugoslav Leader", 16 July 1997

[18][18] Washington Post, Jonathan Randal, 14 June 1997

[19][19] Ibid.

[20][20] This and the following sections are based on Serbian and international media and on the author's interviews with Serbian and foreign observers.

[21][21] Mira Markovic, Izmedju Istoka i Juga [Between East and South] (Belgrade: BMG, 1996), pp. 14-15 and 32-7

[22][22] Le Monde [Paris], Florence Hartmann, "La dame à la marguerite", 24 May 1995

[23][23] The Globe and Mail [Toronto], Alan Freeman, "Milosevic Moves to Maintain Power", 11 April 1997

[24][24] The New York Times, Chris Hedges, "Now TV Interrupts Milosevic's Programming", 9 February, 1997

[25][25] Nin [Belgrade], Milan Nikolic, "Nema neresenih rebusa" [There are no unsolved puzzles], 11 April 1997

[26][26] The New York Times Magazine, Douglas E. Schoen, "How Milosevic Stole the Election", 14 February 1993

[27][27] T.G. Ash, "Serbia's Great March", The New York Review of Books, Vol. 44, No. 7 (24 April 1997), pp. 25-6

[28][28] Review of International Affairs [Belgrade], "Agreement on Normalization of Relations Between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia", No. 1048 (15 September 1996), pp. 13-14

[29][29] Politika [Belgrade], A. Knezevic, "Dvojno dr-avljanstvo ostaje kljucno pitanje [Dual citizenship remains the key question]", 22 April 1997

[30][30] The New York Times, Steven Lee Myers, "Serb is Held in the Killing of 261 Croats", 28 June 1997

[31][31] Vjesnik [Zagreb], Vinka Drezga, "Pregovri o dvojnom drzavljanstvu odgadjaju se do ljeta [The negotiations about dual citizenship are postponed till the summer]", 8 April 1997

[32][32] The New York Times, Jane Perlez, "Milosevic Trades Top Serbian Post for Yugoslav Presidency", 7 July 1997

[33][33] Nin [Belgrade], Ljubica Gojgic, "Ciji krst oni nose? [Whose cross do they bear?]", 28 February 1997

[34][34] Croatian Government Bulletin [Zagreb], "Address of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman in Vukovar, June 8, 1997", No. 1-2 (May-June 1997) p. 6

[35][35] Globus [Zagreb], Davor Butkovic and Mio Vesovic, "Interview with the American Ambassador in Croatia", 6 June 1997

[36][36] Reneo Lukic and Allen Lynch, "La paix américaine pour les Balkans", Études Internationales [Québec], Vol. 27, No. 3 (September 1996), pp. 553-569

[37][37] The New York Times, Chris Hedges, "Wanted Serb Not Only Lives Free, but Prospers", 6 April 1997

[38][38] Review of International Affairs, [Belgrade], "Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska", Vol. 48, No. 1053-1054 (15 February 1997), pp. 16-17

[39][39] Nin [Belgrade], "Kako izbeci levicu [How to avoid the Left]", 4 April 1997

[40][40] The New York Times, Steven Lee Myers, "World Bank, at U.S. Urging, Postpones Vote on Loan to Croatia", 2 July 1997

[41][41] Economist, "House Hopping", 24 May 1997, p. 49


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.