Socialist Party of Serbia

Socialist Party of Serbia

party_name = Socialist Party of Serbia
party_name_cyr = Социјалистичка Партија Србије
party_name_lat = Socijalistička Partija Srbije
colour_html = red
leader = Ivica Dačić
foundation = 27 July 1990
ideology = Socialism,
Left-wing nationalism ("de facto") |
european = None
headquarters = Belgrade, Serbia
international = None
colours = Red, Blue, White
website = [] |
The Socialist Party of Serbia ( _sr. Социјалистичка партија Србије, "Socijalistička partija Srbije") is a political party in Serbia. It was founded on July 27, 1990, by Slobodan Milošević, as a merger of Milošević's League of Communists of Serbia (Serbian section of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia), and the Socialist Alliance of the Working People of Serbia (the Serbian branch of the Socialist Alliance of the Working People of Yugoslavia). [ [,9171,970851,00.html Yugoslavia The Old Demons Arise] , "TIME Magazine", August 06, 1990] led by Radmila Anđelković.

The party won the first elections in Serbia with 194 out of 250 seats and 46.1% of the popular vote. [ [ Parties and Elections in Europe] ] From 1992 it governed in coalition with other parties – initially with the Serbian Radical Party, and from 1993 with the New Democracy Party. They also contested elections in coalition with Yugoslav Left, a party led by Milošević's wife Mirjana Marković.

With the ousting of Milošević in 2000, the party became a part of the opposition. In the 2003 Serbian general elections, the party won 7.6% of the popular vote and 22 out of 250 seats in the National Assembly of Serbia. In 2004, however, its candidate in the presidential election, Ivica Dačić, placed fifth with 3.6% of the vote.

In 2007 parliamentary elections, the Socialist Party of Serbia won 16 seats with 227,580 or 5.64 percent of votes. It formed a sole parliamentary group, with Ivica Dačić as president and Žarko Obradović as vice-president. It won 14 seats outright while a single seat was given to its new partner, the Movement of Veterans of Serbia and non-partisan Borka Vučić, who became the transitional speaker, also received a seat.

In Serbian parliamentary election, 2008, the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS) have strengthened their links by forming a coalition, on which United Serbia and Movement of Veterans of Serbia were present. Coalition won 23 seats with 313,896 or 7.58 percent of votes. SPS and its coalition partners entered post-election coalition with For a European Serbia and formed new Government of Serbia. SPS have First Deputy of the government and 4 minister while PUPS have 1 minister.


The Socialist Party of Serbia upon its foundation, was the heir to the League of Communists of Serbia and more particularly the agenda of Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, who had come to power promising the strengthening of Serb influence in Yugoslavia by reducing the autonomy of the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina within Serbia, and had demanded a one-member-one vote system for the League of Communists of Yugoslavia which would have given a numerical majority to the Serbs. This nationalist course was a major factor in the splintering of the Yugoslav Communist party, and caused the Serbian communist elite to take part in the creation of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

The party made economic reforms outside of Marxist ideology such as recognizing all forms of property and intended a progression to a market economy while at the same time advocating some regulation for the purposes of "solidarity, equality, and social security". [Bozóki, András; Ishiyama, John T. (2002). "Communist Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe." M.E. Sharpe P. 206] However this was generally a continuation of a policy of market socialism of the former League of Communists of Yugoslavia that accepted most property rights and allowed a significant degree of independence for a market economy. In power however, the party enacted policies that were negative to workers rights, such as ending the Communists' worker participation programs, and in 1996, the party passed bills on employment and strikes which another left-wing party, the Syndicate Alliance of Yugoslavia criticized as being equivalent to Mussolini's Labour Charter.Bozóki, András; Ishiyama, John T. P. 213]

Officially the party endorsed the equality of all the Yugoslav peoples and ethnic minorities on the principle of full equality. [Bozóki, András; Ishiyama, John T. P. 206] However the party's endorsement of a repressive strategy against Albanian separatism in Kosovo and accusations of warmongering have challenged the party's official commitment to equality and the authoritarian leadership of Milosevic has challenged the democratic nature of the party.

From 1990 to 1993, the party endorsed supporting the Serbs in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia who wished to remain in Yugoslavia. A primary objective in 1990 was to keep the respective areas within the federation. As Croatia and Bosnia delcared independence, the involvement by the SPS as a ruling party in Belgrade had become more devoted to helping the external Serbs run their own independent entities. The SPS was in coalition with the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party at the time.

There remained fundamental differences between the SPS and the SRS: unlike the SRS, SPS policy does not pursue a policy to consider ethnic Montenegrins and Macedonians as being Serbs, and it only endorsed integration of territories composed of self-proclaimed Serbs into Yugoslavia. Milošević responded to press questions of whether the Serbian government endorsed the Bosnian Serbs, by claiming that the Serbian government did not directly support the Srpska government or Serb military forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their war but claimed that Serbs had the right to self-determination. Information provided by SPS member and government official Borisav Jovic in the 1995 BBC Documentary "The Death of Yugoslavia" indicated that this was not true, that Milošević did endorse the transfer of Bosnian Serb federal army forces to the Bosnian Serb Army in 1992 to help achieve Serb independence from the Bosniak-dominated government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After 1993, the SPS broke away from the coalition with the Radicals and officially opposed the Bosnian Serb government of Radovan Karadžić by passing economic sanctions against it, as Karadžić was opposing peace initiatives and the party officially criticized the discriminatory nationalism of Karadzic's regime.

In 1995, Milošević and the SPS endorsed peace in Bosnia which caused the U.S. to endorse Miloševiććs presence as representative for the Bosnian Serbs for the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. In the aftermath, the SPS lost many local elections in 1996 in which it refused to admit defeat, causing massive protests against Milosevic's government. The party continued to falter and Milosevic resigned as Serbian President to run for Yugoslav President in 1997, which he won.

The SPS, unlike the right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party, participated in negotiations along with a number of other Serbian political parties with ethnic Albanian politicians in Kosovo to attempt to resolve outstanding disputes between the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo and the Serbian government in an attempt to stop the Kosovo War. [ [] ] The SPS however was unwilling to grant the secession of any territory from Kosovo.

From 1998 onwards, the SPS returned to its more successful coalition with the Serbian Radical Party as Kosovo separatism was on the rise.

The SPS showed initial opposition to the flag adopted in 2004 for Serbia, which SPS leader Ivica Dačić claimed looked "monarchist". [] However due to the popularity of the flag in Serbia, SPS opposition has disappeared and now uses the flag in its advertising. []

In reaction to the 2008 declaration of Kosovo independence, SPS leader Ivica Dačić said he would call for a ban on all political parties and non-governmental organisations in Serbia which recognise Kosovo’s independence. [ [ What is at stake in the struggle for Serbia?] , "Bosnian Institute", February 26, 2008]

Accusations of illegal activities

Under Milošević's government critics have accused the SPS of utilizing organized crime to aide it, such as utilizing blackmail, endorsing assassination of political opponents (such as former Serbian President Ivan Stambolić), providing recruits for paramilitary forces during the Yugoslav Wars, and profiteering from illicit drug and oil trade. [Bozóki, András; Ishiyama, John T. P. 217-218]

Relations to other parties

Until the final dissolution of a federal Yugoslav state in 2006, the Socialist Party of Serbia held close ties with the Yugoslav Left, a coalition of left-wing and communist factions led by Miloševiććs wife. The SPS has held close ties with the various political parties led by Momir Bulatović who had been installed as President of Montenegro with Milosević's aide, the SPS supported the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro until Bulatović's ousting in 1998, Socialist People's Party of Montenegro under Bulatović from 1998 until his ousting in 2000, and the last one to be led by Bulatović is the People's Socialist Party of Montenegro. The SPS holds ties with a branch party in the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska which was founded in 1993. [ Day, Alan J.; East, Roger; Thomas, Richard. 2002. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe. Routledge. P. 544] . After the Dayton Accord, this party became a major opponent to the regime of Radovan Karadžić. [ Day, Alan J.; East, Roger; Thomas, Richard. P. 545] In the short-lived enclave Serb state of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia, the SPS supported the Serbian Party of Socialists and particularly the election bid of Milan Martić for President of Serbian Krajina in 1993.

The SPS wants to join the Socialist International. In May 2008, Ivica Dačić travelled to Athens to meet President of Socialist International George Papandreou. During this meeting, Papandreou said that Socialist International was ready to initiate the process for the SPS's membership. [cite news|url= |title=Serbian Socialist Party leader meets head of Socialist International |publisher=Southeast European Times |date=2008-05-25 |accessdate=2008-06-27] However there is still some opposition within Socialist International to inviting the SPS, notably from the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. [cite news|url= |title=Protest against SPS SI membership |publisher=B92 |date=2008-06-26 |accessdate=2008-06-27]


See also

**League of Communists of Serbia
*Yugoslavia (federal level until 2006)
**Yugoslav Left (1994-2006)
**People's Socialist Party of Montenegro
*Serbian Krajina (Serb breakaway territory in Croatia until 1995)
**Serbian Party of Socialists (Croatia)
*Srpska (in Bosnia & Herzegovina)
**Socialist Party of Republika Srpska

External links

* [ Official web page]

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