The Multi-Party Elections in Serbia in 1990

Hits: 59

Preface

It is the 30th anniversary of the first post-WWII democratic elections in Serbia and the rest of the ex-Yugoslavia.

My aim in this article is to elaborate on the feature of the multi-party elections in Serbia in 1990 and to give an answer to the crucial question why did Slobodan Miloshevic with his SPS party win? After the investigation of the case we found that critical reasons for Miloshevic’s/SPS absolute electoral parliamentary and presidential victory in 1990 have been: 1) The countryside and small urban settlements voted for SPS due to the informative blockade; 2) Old population voted for SPS; 3) All minorities, except Hungarians, voted for SPS as a lesser nationalistic option than SPO; 4) The biggest minority – Albanians (10%) boycotted the elections; 5) All Kosovo Serbs voted for SPS; and 6) The whole electoral procedure was under SPS control.

Nature of Political System in Serbia in the early 1990s

Many foreign political scientists argue that the political (and electoral) system in Serbia during the process of Yugoslavia’s dissolution could be classified as „authoritarian“. This system is characterized by the limited political pluralism, aggressive populist rhetoric, the concentration of power by the party leader and clique around him and their ability to manipulate the electorate.[1] Some researchers outline the continuity of such personal and unpredictable nature of single-man political power in Serbia during the whole twentieth century and ground this system to the traditional Balkan „pater familias“ (father of the family) model of the ruling rural large family society („zadruga“)[2].

The tendencies to bring the familial power of Slobodan Miloshevic’s family over the state were transparent in Serbia’s political system in the early 1990s. The leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) S. Miloshevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic, the leader of Yugoslav United Left party, ultimately supervised the state political life, army, police and economy. Their kinship expanded to mass media contributing to the control and manipulation of the information channels and civil initiatives, which lost а great degree of independence and critical voice to the regime. In such a system the personal service to the party leader and relationships with his family guaranteed success and prosperity[3]. As a result, Serbia failed to make the political leap from totalitarianism to pluralism and left behind the successful democratic transition in Eastern Europe[4].

Serbia’s state politics heavily relied on the nationalistic rhetoric that merged together political unity and national claims[5]. This theoretical Ernest Gellner’s framework has had its practical interpretations by both SPS leadership, on the one hand, and some leaders of oppositional parties such as the Serbian Radical Party lead by Vojislav Sheshelj and movements such as Serbian Revival Movement lead by Vuk Drashkovic, on the other. They claimed that ethnographic borders should be expanded to the national-state borders or another way around that the state should enlarge its borders in order to include both the territories settled by dispersed Serbs and lands that historically belonged to the „national“ state[6]. By combining these two ethnic and historic rights, Serbian nationalists (like many others in their own national cases) required the creation of United Serbia from the Krayina region in Croatia (according to ethnic rights) to Kosovo in Serbia (according to historic rights). In this way, both political blocks in position and opposition gained popularity among Serbian citizens but lost political and financial support from the western democracies. Nationalistic rhetoric by oppositional Serbian Radical Party and Serbian Revival Movement was even more radical than S. Miloshevic’s political discourse and thus discredited any other oppositional units such as Democratic Party, Serbian Liberal Party and other political forces that called for democratic transition in Serbia.  Western European countries and the USA maintained distance to the events in March 1991 and did not provide any support to democratic parties which succeeded to organize a mass demonstration against S. Miloshevic’s growing political regime but failed to defeat it.

By developing discourse of “national mobilization” and patriotism to fight for national interests, Miloshevic succeeded to gain political power in 1987−1989 and maintain it for the whole decade from 1990 to 2000[7]. As the chapter below will suggest Miloshevic effectively manipulated certain “democratic” mechanisms of the pluralistic political-electoral system in Serbia and at the same time established his own absolute power by gaining major support from the Serbian population. The oppositional political forces experienced a very difficult task to contest Miloshevic’s iconic image and obtain support for political-social reform and civic society values in Serbia. Thus, nationalistic rhetoric was explored by oppositional parties as well to appeal to the electorate and win support.

Multi-Party System: Limited Development of Democracy

In 1990 Yugoslavia followed the model of political transition from a one-party regime to a multi-party democratic system that was similar to the other Central and Eastern European countries. For the first time after the Second World War, both presidential and parliamentary elections were organized in a democratic way when newly established political parties and politicians could participate in the elections. The adopted Law on Political Organizations (July 19th, 1990) allowed setting up various political associations. In Serbia, many political forces demanded to draft a new democratic constitution and develop an open democratic society. Political agenda of majority political organizations openly rejected communist and socialist regimes and supported human rights, democracy, and market economy. However, the results of the parliamentary and presidential elections in other republics of Yugoslavia made a negative impact on democratic forces in Serbia and to a certain extent reinforced the position of the former Communist Party. During the period from May till November 1990, elections were held in four Republics of Yugoslavia, namely, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia. By applying nationalistic rhetoric newly elected parliaments and presidents of these four republics expressed their claims for independent ethnic states and separation from Yugoslavia. The rhetoric of ethnic nationalism became developed into the driving force for success in the multi-party system to gain and maintain political power.

In Serbia, the elections were scheduled in December when the broad spectrum of the most influential political forces from the former Communist party to the democratic bloc and even new Royalist bloc could participate. By observing the electorate behavior of nationalistic parties in other four republics of Yugoslavia, Serbia’s former Communist Party (i.e., League of Communists of Serbia), renamed to Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and led by Slobodan Miloshevic, mobilized financial and information resources and adopted aggressive nationalistic rhetoric in the electoral campaign. SPS addressed the danger of growing nationalism in other Yugoslav republics and positioned itself as the savior of Serbian national interests.[8] Being the successor of the Communist Party, SPS appropriated all rights and material wealth, political infrastructure and organizational networks of the former Communist Party. Though a significant number of the membership was lost, SPS had mostly professional cadre in comparison to other parties.

Maintaining the political power, SPS succeeded to adopt the legal acts to help their party in winning the parliamentary and presidential elections in December. The law on plurality (majoritarian) voting system allowed any party to participate in the elections but de facto restricted them in getting the majority of seats in the parliament. Oppositely to the proportional representation system that provides the close match between the percentages of votes and seats, the plurality voting system advantaged the party which collected the single majority votes by allowing this party to obtain the absolute majority of seats in the parliament. As a result, on December 9th elections SPS got the majority seats in the parliament.

The oppositional parties in Serbia, however, left behind of SPS in terms of political and organizational infrastructure. Regardless on these weaknesses, two main oppositional organizations, namely Democratic Party (Demokratska stranka – DS) lead by Prof. Dragoljub Micunovic, and the royalist Serbian Revival Movement (Srpski pokret obnove – SPO) led by at that time charismatic populist leader – the writer Vuk Drashkovic, had the potential staff and supporters to participate in the political life of Serbia.

Democratic Party (DS) was formed by Belgrade intellectuals (many of them former political dissidents who protested against the last Yugoslav Constitution of 1974 according to which Serbia was divided into three territorial-political units (Vojvodina, Kosovo and the rest of Serbia). The precursor of DS was the Committee for Human Protection illegally worked in Titoist Yugoslavia in the 1970s and 1980s as in fact the only opposition organization to totalitarian regime run by Josip Broz Tito. On November 11th, 1989 a group of 13 intellectuals publicly proclaimed the organizational establishment of DS that became the first opposition party in Serbia. The most distinguished signatories of the act that created DS have been later its leaders: Dr. Dragoljub Micunovic, Dr. Kosta Chavoshki, Dr. Vojislav Koshtunica, and Dr. Zoran Djindjic. In early 1990, the party was united to the assembly of many small parties and liberal movements. Even the leadership was composed of the board council, where several leaders in consensus made the decisions[9]. The main focus of the party program was concentrated on a clear program of economic and political reforms rather than nationalism and exclusive Serbian national traditions. The political agenda of the Democratic Party was based on traditional European liberalism of civic society. They saw future Yugoslavia as democratic federation composed by all of the nations who by their own will expressed common state and democratic political systems. Regardless of very sharp critics of communism, the party had an unclear national program and weak populist leadership contrary to SPO.

The other influential oppositional party, namely, the Serbian Revival Movement (SPO), focused primarily its political program on solving Serbian national question according to the dominant framework of German Romanticism from the 19th century that claimed the model of one nation – one state[10]. The leader of the party, the writer Vuk Drashkovic, previously was affiliated to the nationalistic Serbian National Defense organization (Srpska narodna obnova – SNO) and proposed to form the special Serbian paramilitary forces and fight for „Greater Serbia“ in order to protect all the territories settled by Serbs. This first of all addressed Serbs in Kosovo allowing questioning large-scale autonomy of Kosovo within Serbia and even proposing to cancel such its status. The new Drashkovic’s party – SPO – based its program on promises to introduce democracy and rule of law in Serbia, a revival of genuine cultural traditions of the Serbs and restoration of the powerful influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church as it used to have in the pre-WWII times. Due to these populist ideas, the movement rapidly got huge mass popularity and expected to win the upcoming parliamentary elections and maybe presidential ones as well. For this purpose, SPO organized an extensive electoral campaign by organizing the oppositional meetings across and outside Serbia. Economic issues were secondary than political, however, clearly expressed suggesting the tendencies to develop a market economy, private possession over the tools of production and private business initiatives. Oppositely to the other big political organizations, SPO had a very specific strategy in its political-national program, notably, to restore the monarchy by crowning the Yugoslav Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic who has been the legal successor of pre-war Yugoslav royal dynasty of Serbian origin. Before the December elections, SPO had about 700.000 supporters and 500 offices in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia.

The other political organizations were significantly smaller, without broad social and strong financial support existing on the margin of political life.

The Elections of 1990

The independent public opinion research on possible results of elections suggested that in September 1990 the most popular were three parties and their leaders. The highest numbers of votes could expect Miloshevic’s SPS (26%), the other two most supported were Dragoljub Micunovic’s DS (13%) and Drashkovic’s SPO (11%). However, almost half of the electorate (45%) did not have a clear opinion on which political force to favor. In the following months, the electoral support to SPS increased due to its position in power, control of media allowing minimizing the time for opponents on TV and radio for the electoral campaign and successful Yugoslav army operations against Croatian governmental forces. S. Miloshevic’s popularity grew up and left behind SPO and DS parties and their leadership.

The significant result of S. Miloshevic’s party’s growing popularity was the total control of informational channels, such as national Radio and TV of Serbia and daily newspaper  „Politika“.  The events of June 13th, 1990 showed that the ruling SPS rejected any dialogue with the opposition and practically manipulated the oppositional democratic forces to win the votes of the electorate. On June 13th, 1990 some oppositional democratic forces united under the Associated Opposition of Serbia called for public protest against SPS control over national media. More than 70,000 people of the peaceful demonstration were dispersed. Later in autumn the same Associate Opposition of Serbia again organized mass protests in Belgrade demanding fair conditions for each political force in the electoral campaign including 90 days of the campaign, two hours of television time per day during the election campaign and the round-table talks. Though the opposition demanded to agree with the leadership and ruling forces of SPS, these demands were not taken into consideration by SPS who continued their informational control over the electorate campaign.[11] Nevertheless, the government of Serbia granted few minor concessions to the opposition allowing the latter for access to the television during the electoral campaign and simplifying the registration for the candidates of president elections according to the Law on Election issued on September 28th, 1990. However, SPS did everything to stop the public appearance of opposition on TV.  The scheduled round-table talks among position and opposition broke down due to SPS leadership’s political ambitions. For the SPS leaders, the round-table discussions became the political platform to spread their virtues and achievements rather than a real exchange of opinions. As Vojislav Koshtunica (DS) argued, most East European countries provided fair conditions for all parties to address the voters and present the party’s agenda, but in Serbia, a few concessions rather than real negotiations and discussions were preferred[12].

Absence of the united oppositional block before the elections also contributed to the victory of SPS in the parliamentary and presidential elections. By debating the law on elections that introduced a “majoritarian” system, the opposition disagreed on whether to boycott the elections as non-fair for oppositional parties or participate and win though small but important voices in the parliament. Vuk Drashkovic and his SPO strongly argued that the united boycott of the elections would discredit the legitimacy of the new „democratic“ post-elections regime. Meanwhile, Zoran Djindjic, one of the leading figures at DS, argued that the opposition should take the opportunity in the election campaign in order to record the illegal actions of the ruling SPS and inform the nation of them[13]. Due to significant Djindjic’s political influence, DS decided to participate in the December 9th elections regardless of the resistance of majority DS leaders. The oppositional SPO party publicly declared their strong position to boycott the elections but had to change their tactics and join the elections at the last minute. SPO leadership had finally realized the plans of DS and other democratic forces to involve SPO in the elections, on the one hand, and the possible future of SPO to be marginal in state policies, on the other. Though SPO faced the problems of limited time and resources, their electoral campaign was based on optimistic views that Serbian citizens will not support SPS as the former Communist Party. Relying on the experience of Eastern and Central Europe SPO and its leadership believed that socialism will be swept out as a historically failed ideology and policy in this region as well. However, they did not properly evaluate the seriousness of SPS campaign, their control of media and strong organizational infrastructure.

The elections for the National Assembly (Narodna skupština) on December 9th, 1990 did not bring unexpected results. The majority of the voters (46%) gave their support to SPS. Due to the electoral system, that was structured by SPS (and finally recognized by the opposition with believing that such system will bring final electoral victory exactly to them but not to SPS), the party won 194 seats (77,6%) in the parliament out of 250. SPO with 15,8% got only 19 seats (7,6%), the Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina’s Hungarians (Demokratski savez vojvođanskih Mađara – DSVM), benefiting from the territorial concentration of their supporters, gained 7 seats (3,2%) with 2,6% of the votes, DS 7 seats (obtained 7,6% of votes). The rest of 13 political organizations, elected to the Parliament, won between 1 and 2 seats[14].

The results of the elections to the National Assembly had shown a twofold phenomenon. Firstly, a number of smaller parties and independent units did gain representatives in the National Assembly. Secondly, the gained voices of the oppositional parties were too small to compose a strong opposition. The elections to the National Assembly demonstrated the limits of democracy in Serbia when previous party system attributes were modified to introduce democratic elections and continue to control and maintain the real power by the same ruling (former Communist, currently SPS) party.

Similar tendencies of limited democracy were functioning in the presidential electoral campaign. The Serbian constitution (September 28th, 1990) introduced the system of a presidential republic in Serbia that was used by S. Miloshevic in his electoral campaign as the main advantage against his opponent-candidates and which finally allowed him to stay in power for the next decade. Having a wide scope of prerogatives of political power the presidency became, in fact, the crucial political institution. During two months of the electoral campaign, the presidential power was sophisticatedly wrapped into nationalistic clothes by mass-media. American sociologist Eric D. Gordy calls political system in Serbia in the 1990s as nationalist authoritarianism taking primarily into consideration a strong presidential position which was surviving in power due to nationalistic rhetoric.[15] There were two reasons for the strong presidential element in the constitution that was adopted exactly on the first day of the electoral campaign and thus became a part of it: 1) to provide an advanced position of SPS candidate to the post of Serbia’s president in comparison with opposition candidates; and 2) Miloshevic believed that his future election as president was already assured and that therefore he needed to safeguard his position against control by the parliament which might be dominated by united opposition bloc.[16] The new constitution of Serbia was promulgated on September 28th, and on the same day, multi-party elections were announced for the December 9th, 1990.[17]

For the post of Serbia’s President, a competition was between 32 candidates. The most chances to win had SPS leader Slobodan Miloshevic, SPO leader Vuk Drashkovic and Belgrade University professor Ivan Djuric. During the presidential electoral campaign, the SPS candidate – an actual Serbia’s president, Slobodan Miloshevic, had the most chances to win mainly due to privileged position in state media and combined rhetoric of modest nationalism and necessary reforms of social and economic life in Serbia. The tactics of avoiding rhetorics of aggressive nationalism on the public scene retained him popularity from the years 1987–1989. Formally advocating the values of civic society and propagating Serbia as the motherland of all of her citizens Miloshevic skilfully targeted his campaign towards ethnic minorities in Serbia.

The presidential election campaign of Vuk Drashkovic was mainly shaped within the framework of radical ethnic patriotic nationalism for national mobilization for defense of Serbian interests in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo-Metochia.[18] His democratic nationalism combined with a call to change illegitimate Miloshevic’s power structure in Serbia succeeded to mobilize a huge number of ethnic Serbs before the elections, but on the other hand, it showed the failure to cooperate effectively with other ethnic communities.

The third most prominent presidential candidate, Ivan Djuric, was a scientist, Byzantologist, professor at Belgrade University, humanist and one of the most critical democratic speakers against either Miloshevic’s or Drashkovic’s nationalistic policies, but not having any experience in the politics. He was a candidate of pro-western Serbia’s Reformists – a political association fighting for democratic Serbia as a member of the European Community/Union. Differently to Miloshevic and Drashkovic, Djuric enjoyed great respect by the majority of western governments and diplomats. However, on the other hand, he had lesser chances to obtain mass support by the electorate, necessary to win presidential elections, as he rejected nationalism from his electoral program.

Finally, the results of the presidential elections in Serbia showed more or less expected outcomes of the pre-electoral campaigns: the most votes won Slobodan Miloshevic (63%) followed by Vuk Drashkovic (only 16,4%).[19] The only other candidate who succeeded to obtain a significant proportion of the votes was Ivan Djuric (5,52% or more than 300.000 votes)[20].

Why SPS won?

The reasons for SPS triumph can be located in a number of structural and institutional advantages that they enjoyed over the opposition parties. The SPS had inherited from the Communist Party of Serbia (a real name the League of Communists of Serbia – LCS), largely intact, a structure of branches and membership extending across the whole country. After the Law of Political Organizations passed on July 19th, 1990 SPS succeeded to retain the biggest number of former 400,000 LCS members. The SPS presence in the factories by establishing its own “workplaces” served as an expression of the party’s dominance of economic as well as political life. The opposition parties, by contrast, had to create their new party local and national networks from the beginning and over a short time. As a result, by the time polling took place on December 9th, 1990, many of the opposition parties had organizational party structure developed only in a few specific locations – mainly big urban settlements. The opposition parties also faced severe financial problems which seriously inhibited their capacity to effectively conduct their election campaign. The SPS also enjoyed further logistical superiority over the opposition through their total monopoly of power in local and central governments, in the run-up to and during the election campaign.

The greatest institutional advantage held by the SPS, however, was their almost total control over the electronic media. The opposition had, before the election campaign, won concessions regarding access to the media but the presentation of the party programs was within a uniform length and did not distinguish between those with negligible support and those, such as SPO and DS, who had a substantial following. By contrast, support for SPS permeated the entire news output of the RTS, main Serbia’s TV network covering the whole country. The broadcasting range of neutral and more balanced TV networks, like Belgrade Studio B, however, did not reach beyond the greater Belgrade area leaving huge parts of inner Serbia’s hinterland, and particularly the rural areas depended on the state-controlled media. Finally, during the election campaign, even the Yugoslav People’s Army was prepared to defend SPS staying in power. That was announced by top army officials’ statements (like of General Veljko Kadijevic) in a form to warn Serbia’s voters of the danger that civil war might break out should the opposition be victorious.

The tone of Miloshevic’s and SPS electoral campaigns contributed greatly to their electoral victory in 1990 followed by an establishment of the post-electoral one-party dominated National Assembly and state’s authoritarian one-man leadership (like in Tudjman’s HDZ Croatia). The SPS campaign emphasized “positive” values of Serbia and Serbian citizens such as economic development and prosperity based on domestic natural and human resources. Surprisingly, at the heyday of the campaign the nationalism, which brought Miloshevic to power in 1987, by contrast, played a distinctly subsidiary role; contrary to the SPO campaign. That was the main reason why SPS succeeded to win a majority of Serbia’s minority votes including even and some small numbers from Albanian electorate (while the overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanian electorate boycotted the elections). Miloshevic opted not for insulting opposition leaders but rather for ignoring them on the public scene what left to the electorate an impression of opposition as a politically irrelevant part of the society. Oppositely to him, radical and fiery nationalistic rhetoric of Vuk Drashkovic and SPO alienated many non-ethnic Serbs and the majority of aged electorate for whom SPO leader was more like rock and roll singer or the Chetnik[21] propagator (with long hear and bear) rather than a serious politician. The clashes by SPO supporters and local Serbia’s Muslims in Rashka region after nationalistic speeches by SPO leaders were sophisticatedly used by Miloshevic’s propaganda machinery. However, probably the critical reason why opposition did not gain stronger electoral support among ethnic Serbs was the fact that its leadership openly propagated pro-western orientation of Serbia’s political post-totalitarian course at the moment when the European Community led by traditional Serbian enemy – (united) Germany advocated and supported the dissolution of Yugoslavia without living place for united Serbian state. Besides, propagating a liquidation of “Albanian independent state of Kosovo within Serbia” by SPS gave them great popularity as real defenders of Serbian national pride.

Finally, beyond the fact that SPS controlled all key features of the political life during the election period, it has to be also mentioned that their ideological message found an appropriate soil to be absorbed by a big part of a conservative section of Serbian society. The SPS had been able to revise their image presenting themselves as following a policy of reform, but without the systematic change (using the slogan “Sa nama nema neizvesnosti/No uncertainty with us”), and therefore disruptive upheaval, advocated by the opposition. The SPS was also able to combine its ideological formula with the promise of actual material gain (for instance, a living standard like in Sweden). The rural population was attracted by the SPS policy of the restitution of land confiscated from the peasantry after WWII (in 1946 and 1953).[22] In general, the Socialist voters have been mainly those whose degree of poverty within the socialist system was such that they feared any radical change (advocated by the opposition) would rob them of what little they had. This support group included not only Serbia’s significant rural population, but also workers from heavy industry factories on the suburban parts of the large towns (like Rakovica in Belgrade), low-level officials from the civil service, and old-age pensioners. It is more clear if we know that Serbia’s working classes were the product of the processes of mass urbanization and industrialization under socialism who largely continued to give their support to the successor of the political party which was their progenitor. The results of electoral policies in Serbia in 1990 showed not only a town/countryside division but also a strong regional differentiation. Support to SPS was particularly strong in the poverty-stricken areas of the south-east (Nish, Leskovac, Vranje) and was much weaker in the more affluent north. The opposition parties were also, in contrast to SPS, strongest in northern and western Serbia. For higher educated and materially better-situated population the prospect of change was more likely to be a source of hope than fear. At the time of Serbia’s first multi-party elections, however, this group remained a minority within the country’s electorate.

Composition of Serbia’s Parliament after the 1990 elections

Conclusions

This article aims to investigate the nature and results of electoral politics in Serbia during the period of the beginning of the violent dissolution of ex-Yugoslavia and the first multi-party elections in 1990. Two levels of elections are taken into consideration: presidential and parliamentary. Oppositely to other Central and East European states, Serbia at the beginning of the 1990s has not been involved in the process of political transformation from totalitarian one-party elections controlled system into democratic multi-party free elections model.

„Transition without transition“ – that was a formula implied by the ruling party to the political life of Serbia during the process of Yugoslavia’s dissolution. Political life has seen the adoption of some of the formal attributes of democracy but without the stable institutional support to that system. The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia, led by Slobodan Miloshevic, imposed its own rules and control over the presidential and parliamentary elections in order to discredit the democratic values. As a result, the authoritarian political system was thriven to serve the interests of the former ruling nomenclature rather than represent the majority of Serbia’s citizens.[23]

However, the final decision by the opposition political parties’ leaders to take active participation in the elections practically gave both legal and moral verification of the whole political system. The results of elections are not unexpected taking into consideration the starting positions of all participants and the political atmosphere within the whole ex-Yugoslavia at the moment. In the other words, elections in Serbia (and Montenegro) came into agenda after all Yugoslav republics already elected their nationalistic leaderships and it is no secret to say that elections of Slobodan Miloshevic and his SPS party in December 1990 were at a great extent an answer to Tudjman’s and his HDZ victory in Croatia in May of the same year.

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2020

Endnotes:

[1] Juan Linz, Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation – Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, p. 38.

[2] For more details about “pater familias” model and its political structure in Balkans see in [Владимир Дворниковић, Карактерологија Југословена, Београд: Просвета, 2000 (reprint from 1939)].

[3] More about personal-party relationships and economic success in Serbia in the early 1990s see in [Tim Judah, The Serbs. History, Myth & Destruction of Yugoslavia, New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 1997, pp. 259–278].

[4] For more details see in [Sabrina P. Ramet, Social Currents in Eastern Europe – The Sources and Meaning of the Great Transformation, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991].

[5] Ernest Gellner, Nations et nationalisme, Paris: Editions Payot, 1989, p. 13.

[6] Vladislav B. Sotirović, “Emigration, Refugees and Ethnic Cleansing in Yugoslavia 1991–2001 in the Context of Transforming Ethnographical Borders into National-State Borders” in Dalia Kuizinienė (ed.), Beginnings and Ends of Emigration. Life Without Borders in the Contemporary World, Kaunas: Versus Aureus, 2005, pp. 94–95.

[7] Robert Thomas, The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, p. 7.

[8] The homogenization of Serbian opinion by Slobodan Miloshevic has begun on April 24th, 1987 when he as the Chairman of the League of Communists of Serbia visited Kosovo Serbs at Kosovo Polje (at the outskirts of Prishtina) – a mythical place for the Serbs where they lost state-national independence to the Ottomans on June 28th, 1389 [Радован Самарџић, Сима М. Ћирковић, Олга Зиројевић, Радмила Тричковић, Душан Т. Батаковић, Веселин Ђуретић, Коста Чавошки, Атанасије Јевтић, Косово и Метохија у српској историји, Београд: Српска књижевна задруга, 1989, pp. 39–40]. After listening grievances of the rallied local Serbs upon long-time discrimination and torture by ethnic Albanians he was the first Serbian official after 1945 to promise them the state’s protection, respect of their human and national rights and equal status within the multiethnic province of Kosovo. His speech at Kosovo Polje was used by TV Belgrade to start creating his charismatic personal cult which had to be proven by mass meetings (“happenings of the people”) in biggest Serbia’s towns from 1987 to 1989 culminating with one million gathered Serbs at a pan-national meeting on 600 anniversary of the Kosovo battle on June 28th, 1989 at Gazimestan. Both Serbian Orthodox Church and Milošević expressed readiness to fight, according to Miloshevic, for protection of human rights as it was done 600 years earlier when on Kosovo Polje Serbian Prince Lazar was defending Christian Europe from Muslim infidels [Slobodan Milošević, „Kosovo i sloga“, NIN, Beograd, 1989-07-02].

[9] Jelena Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize, I, Beograd: IGA“M“, 2003, p. 124.

[10] For more information, see [Vladislav B. Sotirović, Lingvistički model definisanja srpske nacije Vuka Stefanovića Karadžića i projekat Ilije Garašanina o stvaranju lingvistički određene države Srba, Vilnjus: Štamparija Univerziteta u Vilnjusu, 2006].

[11] Tanjug, 1990-09-12.

[12] Milan Andrejević, Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty Research Report, 1990-10-19.

[13] Dragan Bujošević, East European Reporter, autumn/winter 1990.

[14] Od izbornih rituala do slobodnih izbora, Beograd: Institut društvenih nauka, 1991, p. 284; Robert Thomas, The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, p. 74.

[15] Eric D. Gordy, The Culture and Power in Serbia. Nationalism and the Destruction of Alternatives, The Pennsylvania State University, 1999, pp. 8–9.

[16] The constitution was adopted by the national referendum held on July 1–2nd, 1990 under the strong ruling party propaganda in favor of “national interests” and “united Serbia” tasks which had to be defended by the new constitution. Whoever was in opposition to the proposed constitution was labeled as a “national traitor” by Miloshevic’s controlled state’s informative service. However, the people believed that referendum upon a new constitution was in fact plebiscite about Kosovo – to whom this province belonged: to Serbs or Albanians [Kosta Čavoški, „Lex Milošević“, in Ustav kao jemstvo slobode, Beograd: Filip Višnjić, 1995, p. 134]. In fact, the voters put aside the danger for democracy of a constitution drawn up by the one-party assembly and the SPS government gained 97% approval for its right to formulate the constitution prior to elections, ignoring the call by democratic opposition to boycott the referendum. The result of the referendum demonstrated the continuing ability of SPS to control the process of transition in the form of “transition without transition”. See [V. Stevanović, „Demonsko ogledalo vlasti“, Borba, Beograd, November 24–25th, 1990, p. 5]. About the transition and nationalism in East Europe, see [Ruth Petrie (ed.), The Fall of Communism and the Rise of Nationalism, London–Washington: Cassell, 1997].

[17] The first great success of a strong presidential position within the political system in Serbia has been visible by the December 1990’s presidential election results.

[18] About the radical nationalism in Serbia in the 1990s see [Lenard J. Cohen, The Politics of Despair: Radical Nationalism and Regime Crisis in Serbia, Working Paper No. 1, The Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe, 1999]. About the ideology of Serbian nationalism see [Др Војислав Шешељ, Идеологија српског национализма, Београд: Српска радикална странка, 2003].

[19] Od izbornih rituala do slobodnih izbora, Beograd: Institut društvenih nauka, 1991, p. 278.

[20] Robert Thomas, The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, p. 74.

[21] The Chetniks have been Serbian nationalistic guerilla fighters established in 1904. During the WWII they fought against the Germans, Communists and armed forces of Independent State of Croatia taking acts of revenge against Croatian and Bosnian Muslim civilians for their atrocities against the Serbs within the territory of Independent State of Croatia (which included Croatia, parts of Serbia and the whole portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina). Yugoslav Titoist historiography presented the Chetniks deliberately wrongly as the pro-Fascist collaborators in order to discredit them in the eyes of the common people as they have been the main political opponents to J. B. Tito’s partisans for taking political power in Yugoslavia after the war. See more in [Branko Petranović, Istorija Jugoslavije, II, Beograd: NOLIT, 1988; Коста Николић, Историја равногорског покрета, I–III, Српска Реч: Београд, 1999; Милослав Самарџић, Борбе четника против Немаца и усташа 1941−1945., Први том, Крагујевац: Погледи, 2006].

[22] About this period of the Yugoslav history, see in [Алекс Н. Драгнић, Титова обећана земља Југославија, Београд: Задужбина Студеница−Чигоја штампа, 2004].

[23] The general result of democratic elections in all the six Yugoslav republics in 1990 was that republics’ political elites got democratic legitimacy [Чедомир Антић, Српска историја, четврто издање, Београд: Vukotić media, 2019, 290]. About the post-Communist democratization process in Serbia, see in [John S. Dryzek, Leslie Templeman Holmes, Post-Communist Democratization: Political Discourses Across Thirteen Countries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 57−76].

READ MORE!
Israel Stamps Approval on Europe’s Largest Post-WWII Ethnic Cleansing
Back in February, we warned about the prospect of Israel selling F-16s to Croatia, a state in which WWII revisionism and Holocaust denial are running rampant, and memories of the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia are routinely glorified. In the meantime, that has become a done deal. But there is more. Not only will Israel sell half a billion dollars worth of fighter jets to Croatia, but on August 5, three Israeli F-16s, crewed by Israeli pilots, took part in a parade to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the “Operation Storm,” in which more than 2,300 Serbs were killed, including more than 1,200 civilians, among which more ...
READ MORE
Reviving the Greater Israel Scheme
Israel’s Maariv newspaper has revealed that the government of the Zionist state is planning to drop a political bombshell in the coming weeks by presenting a bill in the Knesset (parliament) calling for the annexation of land occupied since 1967. It is likely to have the support of the majority of Knesset members. The newspaper added that the right wing has chosen this time for the move ahead of the US presidential election; America, it is believed, will be too preoccupied to care about what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories. Preliminary talks about a first stage have been held, ...
READ MORE
How the US Created the Cold War
There was a speech that the smug Harvard neoconservative Graham Allison presented at the US aristocracy’s TED Talks on 20 November 2018, and which is titled on youtube as “Is war between China and the US inevitable?” It currently has 1,217,326 views. The transcript is here. His speech said that the US must continue being the world’s #1 power, or else persuade China’s Government to cooperate more with what America’s billionaires demand. He said that the model for the US regime’s supposed goodness in international affairs is The Marshall Plan after the end of World War II. He ended his ...
READ MORE
Farewell Message from Donetsk to President Obama
Truth on the war in Euromaidan Ukraine in photos.The people of Donetsk sent a farewell message to ex-President of the US (POTUS) Barack Obama with proper photo evidence of the result of his policy in the region.See the truth not presented on any global Western corporate mass-media!Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on ...
READ MORE
Demonizing Russian Media
One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow. The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken ...
READ MORE
England’s Irish Slaves
Records are replete with references to early Irish Catholics in the West Indies. Gwynn in Analecta Hibernica, states:  ‘The earliest reference to the Irish is the establishment of an Irish settlement on the Amazon River in 1612.”(1)  Smith, in Colonists in Bondage, reports: “a Proclamation of the year 1625 urged the banishing overseas of dangerous rogues (Irish Political Prisoners); kidnapping (of Irish) was common.”(2)Condon states that the first considerable emigration from Ireland to the southern latitudes of America was to Guiana in 1629.(3) Newton declares that Antigua and Montserrat were occupied as early as 1632 and that many emigrant Irish ...
READ MORE
Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp
War President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic - author of jihadist "Islamic Declaration" in 1970 One of the most outrageous and heinous hoaxes and Hitlerian Big Lies perpetrated by the US and Western media during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 was that Bosnian Serbs had used rape as an “instrument of war”. In order to discredit the Bosnian Serbs, they were accused of committing mass rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, in “rape camps” and “rape motels”. Even the United Nations commander in Bosnia, Canadian Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, a veteran of eight UN peacekeeping missions, was accused of committing rapes against Bosnian ...
READ MORE
The Disaster That Bill Clinton Created in Bosnia by Backing Muslims Against the Serbs
Two decades later Bosnia is still suffering the consequences. ISIS has declared the Balkans the next front for the Islamic Caliphate, and in remote mountain villages, Muslims are already flying the ISIS flag.Central Bosnia in 2015Russia Insider (h/t Maksim)  The Balkans is the latest arena where the West is trying to circumcise any attempt of Russia to regainits influence. This anti-Serbian resolution and initiative is the part of the broader strategy and the latest Western attempt to demonize Serbs and delegitimize pro-Russian Republic of Srpska (Serbian part of Bosnia) in an effort to forcefully centralize Bosnia and give the driving seat to ...
READ MORE
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire. But it would be a mistake to focus all the criticism on Trump. Not only are Democrats also at fault, but a good argument could be made that they bear even greater responsibility. For years, near-total unanimity has reigned on Capitol Hill concerning America’s latest villains du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Congressmen, senators, ...
READ MORE
Golan Heights and the Greater Israel Project
After the first ever cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech on April 17, 2016 that the territory “will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” This elicited admonitions from some of Israel’s greatest allies, the United States and Germany, and renewed attention on the issue.The Golan Heights were opportunistically occupied by Israel after its victory in the 1967 six-day-war. A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has monitored the region since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement, and it has been considered an occupied territory of the UN and the ...
READ MORE
Totalitarian Rule in America
Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that the CIA ...
READ MORE
Washington’s Bizarre Kosovo Strategy could Destroy NATO
Not satisfied with having sponsored the artificial creation of Kosovo, the United States has now decided to ram the mafia state through NATO and the European Union. A new member with such characteristics is the last thing that Europe needs right now. However, it should work wonders for the consolidation of U.S. political and military agenda in the region, not to speak of the flourishing heroin trade from Afghanistan…both of which, as Engdahl points out in this sharp analysis, pose a threat to Russia and may backfire in the end.In one of the more bizarre foreign policy announcements of a ...
READ MORE
American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered “Standard Operating Procedure”
Comparing testimony from Vietnamese women and American soldiers, Gina Marie Weaver, in her book Ideologies of Forgetting: Rape in The Vietnam War, finds that rape of Vietnamese women by American troops during the US invasion of Vietnam was a “widespread”, “everyday occurrence” that was essentially “condoned”, even encouraged, by the military, and had its foundation in military training and US culture.  She explores why US rape in Vietnam was so common, and why this aspect of US behavior has been virtually “erased” from “narratives of the war”.  She stresses the issue is also important as rape in the US military continues ...
READ MORE
Trump’s Political Suicide Pushes China, Iran and Russia Closer
The first aspect to consider, following the US attack on Syria, is what Putin, Xi, and Rohani, leaders of the Russian Federation, the People's Republic of China, and Iran respectively, thought while American Tomahawks were hitting the Syrian air base of Shayrat. The last three years of the Obama presidency highlighted two very different strategies being advanced simultaneously by the US and the nations opposing its imperialistic overreach, principally Russia, China and Iran. The latter have been seeking cooperation, while the US, with its big hammer, has characteristically been on the search for nails to hammer. Yet the management of international ...
READ MORE
Who are the Ukrainians?
A Father of NationUkraine is an East European territory which was originally forming a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. That is a present-day independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. According to Anderson, the nation is abstract and firstly subjective social construction that defy simple, objective definition yet have been for the last two centuries the crucial basis of conflict in world politics and international relations, through assertion of their expressed nationalism.[i] However, ...
READ MORE
Washington’s War Crime in Afghanistan
The massacre of 22 people—12 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, along with 10 patients, three of them children—in Saturday’s airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical center in Kunduz, Afghanistan is an appalling war crime for which the US military and Obama administration are responsible. On Monday, the top US commander in Afghanistan admitted that a US warplane carried out the deadly attack, while seeking to shift the blame onto Afghan puppet troops for calling it in. “An air strike was then called to eliminate the Taliban and several civilians were accidentally struck,” Gen. John Campbell told a ...
READ MORE
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, ...
READ MORE
Why Trump is Wrong About North Korea
When I think about North Korea, what first comes to my mind is a mist over the calm and majestic surface of the Taedong River near Pyongyang. Next I always recall two lovers, locked in a tender and almost desperate embrace, sitting side by side on the shore. I saw them every day, while taking brisk walks at dawn. Now I don’t know for sure whether they were real or just a product of my fantasy; a sad and gentle reminder of all that has been already lost, as well as of all that should have happened but never really ...
READ MORE
Kosovo is Serbia
March 24 [2020] will mark the 21st anniversary of NATO’s occupation of Serbia’s Kosovo province, and so we reaffirm: Kosovo is Serbia. Serbia does not and will not ever recognize Kosovo’s claims of sovereignty. We call on NATO to end its occupation of Kosovo.NATO’s occupation of Kosovo and its increasing militarization of the province is a threat to the world’s common security. Albanian occupation authorities continue their assault on human rights and fundamental freedoms, brutally silencing critics in civil society and the media, and curtailing religious freedom. Hundreds of individuals from Kosovo, including members of the Serb community, have been ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: Heroin Transport Corridor
US-NATO military control of Kosovo serves several purposes for Washington’s greater geo-strategic agenda. First it enables greater US control over potential oil and gas pipeline routes into the EU from the Caspian and Middle East as well as control of the transport corridors linking the EU to the Black Sea. It also protects the multi-billion dollar heroin trade, which, significantly, has grown to record dimensions in Afghanistan according to UN narcotics officials, since the US occupation. Kosovo and Albania are major heroin transit routes into Europe. According to a 2008 US State Department annual report on international narcotics traffic, several key ...
READ MORE
Israel Stamps Approval on Europe’s Largest Post-WWII Ethnic Cleansing
Reviving the Greater Israel Scheme
How the US Created the Cold War
Farewell Message from Donetsk to President Obama
Demonizing Russian Media
England’s Irish Slaves
Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp
The Disaster That Bill Clinton Created in Bosnia by Backing Muslims Against the Serbs
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
Golan Heights and the Greater Israel Project
Totalitarian Rule in America
Washington’s Bizarre Kosovo Strategy could Destroy NATO
American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered “Standard Operating Procedure”
Trump’s Political Suicide Pushes China, Iran and Russia Closer
Who are the Ukrainians?
Washington’s War Crime in Afghanistan
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
Why Trump is Wrong About North Korea
Kosovo is Serbia
Kosovo: Heroin Transport Corridor
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu