March 2004 - The results of the December 28, 2003 parliamentary elections began a new phase in Serbia's post-Milosevic development. Considerable attention has been focused on the surge of support for the highly nationalistic Serbian Radical Party (SRP), formerly headed by Vojislav Seselj, who at the time of the election was awaiting trial at The Hague tribunal. Seselj's Radicals, now headed by Tomislav Nikolic, received 28 percent of the vote and 82 seats in the 250-seat Serbian National Assembly. But it is important to remember that the other major election winners were from a broad grouping of reformist, democratically-oriented parties, albeit some quite conservative. For example, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DPS), headed by Vojislav Kostunica, received 18 percent of the vote and 53 seats. The party of the assassinated Premier Zoran Djindjic, the Democratic Party, received 13 percent of the vote, garnering 37 seats. The G-17 Plus, headed by Miroljub Labus, won 34 seats and 11.5 percent of the vote. And Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SRM) received 7.7 percent of the vote and 22 seats in alliance with the small party called New Serbia (NS).
September 2000 - Milosevic has gradually been losing credibility over the past few years and these recent elections signify the beginning of the end for him. According to Cerovic, Milosevic's cronies will most likely turn their support towards the victorious presidential candidate of the democratic opposition, Vojislav Kostunica. Election results tallied by the opposition indicate an overwhelming 55% support for Kostunica. By contrast, election votes counted by the regime's Federal Election Commission gave Kostunica only 48% - short of the 50% +1 margin needed to forgo a second round. Cerovic believes that only by seizing the moment and defying the government's call for a second round of elections can the united opposition continue to exert additional pressure on Milosevic and further weaken his grip on power.
July 1999 - In March 1999, shortly before the start of NATO’s war in Kosovo, EES initiated a series of seminars and discussions on different aspects and implications of the crisis designed to apply the same scholarly and policy-oriented focus to the war in Kosovo that typifies the Wilson Center’s approach to all public policy issues. This volume brings together the highlights of several of these talks, which hopefully will provide useful insights on and analyses of the crisis to those who were unable to attend the sessions. In it you will find a wide variety of views, some supportive of the Administration and NATO’s approach, others critical. The intent of the report is to provide a balanced view of events in the region as well as U.S. and NATO policy, presented by a distinguished group of academics and policy experts.
346. Serbia's October Revolution: Evaluating International Efforts Promoting Democratic BreakthroughJul 07, 2011
October 2007 - In 1987, the former Yugoslav communist apparatchik-turned national protagonist, Slobodan Milosevic, showed promise as a modern liberator. Enjoying immense initial support, he rose to power swiftly and retained the authority he achieved with violence, xenophobic propaganda, appeals to history, legalism, patronage and appropriation of the country's wealth. He ruled as Yugoslavia's constituent republics devolved into separate nations, through four wars and as a NATO bombing campaign pitted his regime against the West. The stirring electoral victory of his opposition and subsequent protests that removed Milosevic on October 5, 2000, came after more than a decade during which the autocrat often seemed unassailable, invulnerable and incorrigible. His fall was hailed inside and outside of Serbia as a decisive moment of revolutionary democratic change.
November 2005 - Mostar was the most heavily damaged city of the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia. Ninety percent of its center was damaged and a third of its buildings were completely destroyed. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes and from the city, while tens of thousands of others moved to Mostar. This physical and demographic change clearly affected the city's postwar climate. However, the war's most notorious legacy in Mostar is the city's political and psychological division into Croat and Muslim sides.
November 2002- On December 8, 2002, Serbs failed to elect a president for their republic for the third time since September. After rancorous campaigning, an October television debate, and a disturbingly strong showing by radical nationalist Vojislav Seselj in the election's first round in September, Serbs could not be bothered to come out in sufficient numbers to validate the December election between current Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, nationalist firebrand Vojislav Seselj, and Borislav Pelevic. As expected, Kostunica won handily with 57.5 percent of the vote and Pelevic's performance at the polls was inconsequential. Seselj's take of 36.3 percent of the electorate, however, was both astonishing and distressing. Yet, in spite of the fact that three candidates competed for the presidency, the principal opponent of each was once again voter apathy and Serbia's threshold requirement that a minimum of 50 percent of voters vote in order to validate an election.
October 1998 - The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia). Although intellectual ideologists of Serbian nationalism and ultra-nationalism have been dispirited by MiloŠevic's failures, fundamental views about Serbia's national and territorial interests persist, related to feelings of "wounded national pride." Talk of pursuing a "Greater Serbia" and open revanchism are now rather less visible, as soul-searching occurs about recent Serb experiences in the Balkans. There is still, however, a strong commitment in various circles to the pursuit of Serbian national interests, as well as resentment about what has occurred over the last decade.
February 2007 - These comments draw on my visit to Belgrade this past January, initially arranged as a research trip for my ongoing and optimistically titled book project with Lenard Cohen, "Embracing Democracy in the Western Balkans: From Post-Conflict Struggles to European Integration." The visit's overlapping with January 21 meant that the elections dominated most of my conversations and also the current press that I collected. I met with a variety of scholars, the editors of the daily Danas, for which I provided an interview, Slobodan G. Markovic of the Institute for European Studies, Srdjan Gligorijevic of the International and Security Affairs Center, and Sonja Licht, now President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. Supplementing their varied impressions for this balance sheet are articles from the daily papers Danas and Politika, and the weekly magazines Vreme and NIN.
December 2003 - Barely one week before the European Union's biggest enlargement ever on May 1, 2004, the European Commission gave Croatia the green light to open formal accession negotiations for EU membership. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader toasted the news with champagne in Zagreb, declaring: "Today we turn a new page in history." The Commission's decision is a remarkable turnaround for a country that was mired in violent conflict a decade ago and diplomatically isolated for most of the 1990s. It is significant as well that Sanader, elected in December 2003 when the Croatian Democratic Union (CDU) resumed power, celebrates this historic moment. The nationalist policies of his party's founder, Franjo Tudman, thwarted Croatia's European aspirations throughout the 1990s. CDU leaders and their supporters continued in recent years to undermine the previous regime's commitment to meeting EU conditions, namely turning over indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The election of the CDU in December 2003 thus provided an important test for whether changes brought about by the EU's accession process are enduring. By fulfilling his pledge to make a clear and determined effort to enter the EU, even at the expense of marginalizing nationalist factions, Sanader appears to have turned a new page.
November 2000- On March 24, 1999, NATO attacked Serbia and bombed it for two and half months. Around two thousand civilians were killed - a figure most often quoted locally and probably realistic. Milosevic's regime quoted a figure of five thousand, NATO of five hundred. There is more agreement about the number of Serbian soldiers (both in the military service and the reservists) and policemen killed - seven hundred and two hundred respectively. The material damages are between thirty and fifty billion dollars. As a result, Serbia, which had been poor, became even poorer, unemployment increased and wages decreased.