Politics of Serbia and Montenegro

Politics of Serbia and Montenegro

The Politics of Serbia and Montenegro took place in a framework of a federal parliamentary republic, with a multi-party system. The President of Serbia and Montenegro was both head of state and, as chairman of the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro, head of government. Executive power was exercised by the government. Federal legislative power was vested in both the government and the Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro. However, most of the power within the State Union, which was dissolved in June 2006, lay with the governments of its two constituent republics, Serbia and Montenegro.

Historical developments

On 4 February 2003 parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia agreed to a weaker union between Serbia and Montenegro within a commonwealth called "Serbia and Montenegro".

After June 1999, Kosovo was made a United Nations protectorate, under the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) based in Priština. From early 2001, UNMIK has been working with representatives of the Serbian and union governments to reestablish stable relations in the region. A new assembly of the province was elected in November 2001, which formed a government and chose a president in February 2002. In spring 2002, UNMIK announced its plan to repatriate ethnic Serb internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Although threatened by Milošević throughout the last years of his rule, Montenegro's democratization efforts have continued. In January 1998, Milo Đukanović became Montenegro's president, following bitterly contested elections in November 1997, which were declared free and fair by international monitors. His coalition followed up with parliamentary elections in May. Having weathered Milošević's campaign to undermine his government, Đukanović has struggled to balance the pro-independence stance of his coalition with the changed domestic and international environment of the post-October 5 Balkans. In December 2002, Đukanović resigned as president and was appointed Prime Minister. The new President of Montenegro is Filip Vujanović.

Before October 5, even as opposition grew, Milošević continued to dominate the organs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) Government. And although his political party, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) (in electoral cartel with Mirjana Markovic' Yugoslav United Left), did not enjoy a majority in either the federal or Serbian parliaments, it dominated the governing coalitions and held all the key administrative posts. An essential element of Milošević's grasp on power was his control of the Serbian police, a heavily armed force of some 100,000 that was responsible for internal security and which committed serious human rights abuses. Routine federal elections in September 2000 resulted in Kostunica receiving less than a majority, requiring a second round. Immediately, street protests and rallies filled cities across the country as Serbs rallied around Vojislav Koštunica, the recently formed Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS, a broad coalition of anti-Milošević parties) candidate for FRY president. There had been widespread fear that the second round would be cancelled on the basis of foreign interference in the elections. Cries of fraud and calls for Milošević's removal echoed across city squares from Subotica to Niš.

On October 5 2000, Slobodan Milošević was forced to concede defeat after days of mass protests all across Serbia. New FRY President Vojislav Koštunica was soon joined at the top of the domestic Serbian political scene by the Democratic Party's (DS) Zoran Đinđić, who was elected Prime Minister of Serbia at the head of the DOS ticket in December's republican elections. After an initial honeymoon period in the wake of October 5, DSS and the rest of DOS, led by Đinđić and his DS, found themselves increasingly at odds over the nature and pace of the governments' reform programs. Although initial reform efforts were highly successful, especially in the economic and fiscal sectors, by the middle of 2002, the nationalist Koštunica and the pragmatic Đinđić were openly at odds. Koštunica's party, having informally withdrawn from all DOS decisionmaking bodies, was agitating for early elections to the Serbian Parliament in an effort to force Đinđić from the scene. After the initial euphoria of replacing Milošević's autocratic regime, the Serbian population, in reaction to this political maneuvering, was sliding into apathy and disillusionment with its leading politicians by mid-2002. This political stalemate continued for much of 2002, and reform initiatives stalled. Finally in February 2003, the Constitutional Charter was ratified by both republics, and the FRY Parliament and the name of the country was changed from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Serbia and Montenegro. Under the new Constitutional Charter, most federal functions and authorities devolved to the republic level. The office of President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, held by Vojislav Koštunica, ceased to exist once Svetozar Marović was elected President of Serbia and Montenegro.

On March 12 2003, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić was assassinated. The newly formed union government of Serbia and Montenegro reacted swiftly by calling a state of emergency and undertaking an unprecedented crackdown on organized crime which led to the arrest of more than 4,000 people.

The union Parliament was the lawmaking body of the Government of Serbia and Montenegro.

On June 3, 2006, Montenegro formally declared its independence. On June 5, 2006, Serbia formally declared its independence.

Executive branch

Svetozar Marović
7 March 2003 - 2006The president was elected by the Parliament for a four-year term. He chaired the Council of Ministers, that had five members.

Legislative branch

The Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro ("Skupština Srbije i Crne Gore") had 126 members elected for a four year term, 91 in Serbia and 35 in Montenegro. The first parliament was elected 25 February 2003 by the members of the old federal and the republican parliaments. Mandates were divided among parties and coalitions in proportion to the number of their benches in Serbia's and Montenegro's parliaments. Every time one of the parliaments was re-elected, the composition changes.

Political parties and elections

Judicial branch

The State Union had a Federal Court or Savezni Sud and a Constitutional Court. The judges for both courts were elected by the Federal Assembly for nine-year terms. After the promulgation of the new Constitution, the Federal Court would've had constitutional and administrative functions; it would've had an equal number of judges from each republic.

International organization participation (before dissolution of the State Union)


ee also

*Politics of Europe
*Politics of Montenegro
*Politics of Serbia
*Politics of Vojvodina
*List of political parties in Serbia
*Prime Minister of Montenegro
*Cabinet of Montenegro
*Prime Minister of Serbia
*Cabinet of Serbia

External links

* [http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr128.html Serbia at the Crossroads Again: Can the Country Firmly Embark on the Reform Path with President Boris Tadic?] U.S. Institute of Peace Report, November 2004
* [http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=369 The Great Secret of Serbian Military Affair]

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