The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Part I

By | January 18, 2022

After the collapse of Yugoslavia, which was established under socialist auspices in 1945/46, Serbia and Montenegro agreed on February 12, 1992 in the Titograd Agreement (now Podgorica) to form a new Yugoslav state (approved by the parliaments of both republics on February 22, 1992; confirmed in a referendum on March 1, 1992 in Montenegro). With the entry into force of the constitution, on April 27, 1992, the proclamation of the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, now consisting of two republics, took place; the connection of further republics was possible.

According to ebizdir, the parliamentary elections on May 31, 1992 and December 20, 1992 respectively secured the majority for the ruling socialists in Serbia (Socialist Party of Serbia; led by S. Milošević) and Montenegro (Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro), the opposition (especially Kosovar Albanians and Muslims in Sanjak Novi Pazar) boycotted the elections. The first President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, elected on June 15, 1992, D. Cosić (until June 1, 1993), and the first Prime Minister, Milan Panić (* 1929; in office until December 1992), elected on July 16, 1992 were voted out of office again by Parliament on charges of too much indulgence towards the demands of the EC and the UN; He was succeeded as President of the Federation in June 1993 Zoran Lilić (* 1953), as Prime Minister on March 3, 1993 Radoje Kontić (* 1937). The central figure in Yugoslav politics, however, remained Milošević (elected President of Yugoslavia on July 15, 1997).

Due to the claim to the sole international legal successor of the former Yugoslavia (excluding the other four successor states) and the militant Greater Serbian expansion policy in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina – allegedly to protect the Serbian settlement areas – international recognition was not granted until spring 1996 (first from France and Great Britain, recognized by Germany on April 17) and the new state was politically isolated until then (UN exclusion, September 23, 1992; tightened sanctions from the end of April 1993; relaxed in September 1994, lifted on October 1, 1996). Because of the brutal expulsions (“ethnic cleansing”; around 1.3 million) and war crimes against the civilian population in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN decided on May 25. 1993 the establishment of a war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague (based, among other things, on the Geneva Convention). Closed on January 19, 1994 Milošević signed an agreement to normalize relations with Croatia, and on April 21, 1994 a similar one with Romania in order to break through the isolation of foreign policy. The Yugoslav People’s Army had officially withdrawn from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but continued to support the Bosnian-Serb armed forces with weapons and material. When the Bosnian Serbs rejected the international peace plan of July 1994 (Geneva Yugoslavia Conference; Geneva Conferences), Yugoslav politics distanced themselves and closed the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 1994. In the Dayton Agreement (November 21, 1995) Milošević had to Finally, after international pressure – with the abandonment of Greater Serbian ambitions – agree to the Bosnian Serbs remaining in the complicated, two-part state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and help promote the difficult implementation. Also due to international pressure, an amnesty law for conscientious objectors and deserters was passed on June 19, 1996. Despite the grave consequences of the war and the unchanged authoritarian-repressive regime under Milošević, he and his SPS were able to work in one of his wife Mira Marković (* 1942) The left-wing bloc (JUL; 48% of the votes) and the DPS in Montenegro also won the elections on November 3, 1996 with a majority of almost two-thirds (84 of 138 seats); the Serbian opposition alliance »Together« (Zajedno; including the Serbian Renewal Party under Vuk Drašković ʎ * 1946]; 1997 disintegrated) won only 22 with 23% of the votes, a Montenegrin opposition alliance eight seats (including the Socialist People’s Party, SNP). In addition, among others, the nationalist Serbian Radical Party 16 seats (18%), the Democratic Union of Hungarians three and the Muslims in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar two seats; the Albanians in Kosovo boycotted the elections again. The cancellation of Zajedno’s victory in the Serbian municipal elections of November 17, 1996 by the then Serbian President Milošević led to mass protests that lasted for months (November 1996 to February 1997).

Compliance with human and minority rights (especially in Kosovo and Vojvodina) and the granting of freedom of the press, although legally guaranteed or promised, had to be repeatedly warned internationally. The violations of the law repeatedly led to tensions, including between Serbia and Montenegro. In Montenegro, the Milošević critic M. Djukanović sat down in the presidential elections of October 1997(DPS). From May / June 1998 the national differences in Kosovo escalated into a civil war with massive refugee movements and an international crisis (flight of the civilian population; fighting between the Serbian army and the »Kosovo Liberation Army«, abbreviation UÇK). NATO air strikes on military and civilian targets in Yugoslavia (between March 24 and June 10, 1999; officially ended on June 20) were unable to stop the expulsions. On May 6, 1999, the foreign ministers of the G-8 countries agreed on general principles for a political solution to the Kosovo crisis (“G-8 plan”; June 1999 specified and supplemented by UN resolution 1244).

Montenegro sought to become independent during the NATO military action and in the period that followed. Domestic political pressure on Milošević increased from summer 1999; an opposition alliance “Alliance for Change”, formed in autumn 1999, was initially unsuccessful. Internal ethnic tensions also persisted (especially conflicts in southern Serbia). In early July 2000, amendments to the constitution were made in favor of the re-election of Milošević Resolved as President of Yugoslavia (direct election of the President and the Republic Chamber of the Federal Parliament, which up to now had equal representation). The constitutional amendment was strictly rejected by the parliament and government in Montenegro as well as by the opposition in Serbia because it abolished the equality of the republic of Montenegro within Yugoslavia. At the same time, these critics saw the future of the Yugoslav Federation at risk (mid-July 2000).

For the presidential elections in Yugoslavia, v. a. Z. Djindjić to unite the previous opposition in an alliance. The candidate of this opposition alliance “Democratic Opposition of Serbia” (DOS) V. Koštunica (founder of the Democratic Party of Serbia [DSS]) was elected President of Yugoslavia on September 24, 2000 to succeed Milošević. Milošević initially tried to manipulate the election result. After two weeks of protests (including a general strike) and a two-day “peaceful revolution” on 5/6 10th he could finally be forced to recognize the election result and to resign (officially on October 6th). Koštunica was sworn in on October 7th. He was considered a moderate Serbian nationalist and initially strived for economic reforms and a democratic restructuring of the state through cooperation with all elected parties. He also wanted to maintain the federal unity of Yugoslavia (including Montenegro and Kosovo). In Serbia, the DOS and the SPS agreed on the formation of a transitional government under Milomir Minić (SPS; October 24th) including the SPO; the key departments were filled equally. In the dispute over the resignation of the head of the secret service, Marković, it threatened to collapse at the beginning of November.

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia