bosnia report
New Series No. 11/12 August - November 1999
 
Milosevic's future

VIP Daily News Report – Belgrade, 4 November 1999

`The adoption of a draft law on the rights and duties of the Serbian president might be a prelude to the early retirement of Serbian President Milan Milutinovic. V.I.P.'s sources say that federal President Slobodan Milosevic might use the legislation to return to the post of Serbian president. The sources say there are signs that Milosevic might even encourage Montenegro to leave the Yugoslav federation.

The Yugoslav Army is the only institution operating at the federal level at present. The decisions of the federal government, not recognized by Montenegro, are carried out only in Serbia while Montenegro has nearly completed its own legal and economic systems. Sessions and decisions of the Supreme Defence Council and all other federal bodies are incompatible with the federal Constitution, denying Milosevic legal backing for his decisions.

Artificially keeping Sukanovic's archürival Momir Bulatovic, the federal prime minister and leader of the Socialist People's Party (SNP) – both losers in Montenegrin elections – in federal posts is no longer politically profitable and gives Milosevic no control over Montenegro.

If Montenegro declared independence and Milutinovic retired, most probably on health grounds, Milosevic could solve his current problems by stepping into the vacant post vacated by Milutinovic. Milosevic's term of office as federal president expires next year and cannot be prolonged under the Constitution. As Serbian president again he could have two more terms totalling eight years in power. Political analysts have warned that Montenegro's exit from Yugoslavia would lose Serbia Kosovo because, under the UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo, the province is a constituent part of the FRY, not Serbia. In that case Milosevic could blame Montenegro for the loss of Kosovo, which is effectively already operating as a separate entity.'

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