Autonomy for Montenegro in new Union with Serbia

One of the main problems facing Vojislav Kostunica after the popular uprising which brought him to power in Belgrade was how to approach Podgorica. Milo Djukanovic, President of Montenegro, boycotted the elections of 24th September and although he congratulated Kostunica on his victory, he did not recognize him officially as President of Yugoslavia. Now Zoran Djindic, a leading figure in the Democratic Opposition of Serbia and a faithful ally of Kostunica, has proposed a solution which should please all sides: the abolition of the Federation of Yugoslavia and the adoption of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff will be replaced and Montenegro will enjoy greater autonomy, with only its foreign policy, defense and monetary policy controlled by Belgrade. Belgrade in turn receives access to the coast Other immediate problems have been solved and in just four days, President Kostunica has consolidated his power. The Federal Prime Minister, Momir Bulatovic, loyal to Milosevic, has resigned, the Parliament, where Milosevic’s SPS detained the majority of seats, is to be dissolved and a request for new parliamentary elections on 19th December has been made to Serbian President Milan Milutinovic. The Serbian government will be substituted by an interim task force, made up of representatives from the main political parties represented in parliament. The United States of America and certain Western European countries, like the United Kingdom, insist that Milosevic is handed over for trial for war crimes in the Hague but this would be extremely controversial in Yugoslavia and President Kostunica has declined this request. Milosevic anyway is now fading into insignificance as a new sun rises over Yugoslavia.

Tim Bancroft-Hinchey Lissabon

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Author`s name: Editorial Team