Tags: Serbian | Socialists | Are | Deserting | Milosevic | Party

Serbian Socialists Are Deserting Milosevic Party

Sunday, 19 November 2000 12:00 AM

Philosopher Mihailo Markovic, once the party's ideologue, told Belgrade media Saturday he walked out on Thursday because Milosevic had discarded a draft document the committee had prepared for the congress on Nov. 25 and ordered an "anonymous group" to draw up another one.

"This showed once again that the top of the party does not observe elementary democratic rules [and] refuses to see the reality, and [also] respect the will [of] its membership," Markovic charged.

The original draft, he said, analyzed the causes of the party's loss to the Democratic Opposition of Serbia party in the Sept. 24 federal and local elections. It also outlined the way for its reform and revival.

Markovic said some 10 committee members protested the discarding to the draft and that he and another two founding members of the party resigned from the committee. Among them was law professor Ratko Markovic, who framed all Serbian and Yugoslav constitutions during the Milosevic regime.

Markovic had identified corruption, close ties with the Yugoslav United Left (YUL) organization headed by Milosevic's wife and authoritarianism in decision-making as the principle causes of the party's electoral defeat.

At the same time, four members of the party's policy-making main committee said in a statement published in Belgrade Sunday that they were leaving the SPS for "disagreements with those who are preventing the transformation of the party into a modern, democratic, pro-European and reform-oriented social-democratic organization."

The four included Zeljko Simic, Milosevic's former private secretary and Serbian culture minister until the Socialists were ousted from power two months ago. They said they resigned because some leaders would not "face up to their responsibility for the party's electoral failure, and their insistence on staying in their posts."

Other reports have said that leaders of many local party branches around Serbia have either called on Milosevic not to stand for re-election as SPS leader or resign from the party altogether.

In recent days, two prominent former SPS leaders – Zoran Lilic, who preceded Milosevic as Yugoslav president for four years until 1997, and Milorad Vucelic, one-time party vice president and parliamentary leader – have established their own social-democratic parties.

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Philosopher Mihailo Markovic, once the party's ideologue, told Belgrade media Saturday he walked out on Thursday because Milosevic had discarded a draft document the committee had prepared for the congress on Nov. 25 and ordered an anonymous group to draw up another one....
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2000-00-19
Sunday, 19 November 2000 12:00 AM
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