In accordance with the Constitutional Charter adopted on February 4, 2003, the state community of Serbia and Montenegro is based on the equality of both member states. Check computerminus for political system of Serbia.
The charter provided for the formation of a unicameral parliament – the Assembly of Serbia and Montenegro of 126 deputies (91 from Serbia and 35 from Montenegro), first for a period of 2 years by delegating deputies from the republican assemblies, and later – for a period of 4 years by direct elections. Decisions by the parliament are taken by a simple majority of the list, provided that the same majority from each of the republics votes for them. For a period of 4 years, the Assembly also elects the president of the new state formation, and alternately from each of the two republics. The head of parliament and the president could not be representatives of the same republic. The first president of Serbia and Montenegro was the representative of Montenegro, Svetozar Marović. Serbian representative Dragoljub Micunovic, who was replaced by Zoran Shami in 2004, is the chairman of the parliament.
The President of Serbia and Montenegro proposes to the Assembly, for approval, candidates for the highest body of executive power – the Council of Ministers, which he heads ex officio. In addition to the president, the government also includes the minister of defense, the minister of foreign affairs and their deputies, the minister for foreign economic relations, the minister for domestic economic relations, and the minister for human rights and national minorities. At the end of the 2-year term, the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs change places with their deputies.
In the member republics of the community, their highest bodies of state power are elected. In Serbia, elections to the republican parliament of 250 deputies were held under the proportional system. For the creation of parliamentary groups, a limit of 5% of the votes received in the elections was envisaged.
The mandate to form a government is given to the representative of the parliamentary majority. In 2004, the mandate was given to the chairman of the Democratic Party, Vojislav Kostunica (until 2003, the president of the FRY). During the formation of his coalition government, for the first time, the personal responsibility of each party for the ministry assigned to it was introduced. In contrast to previous practice, its leadership (ministers and deputy ministers) consisted entirely of members of the same party.
By direct elections for 5 years with the possibility of re-election for another term, the president of the republic was elected. In connection with the failure of the republican presidential elections in 2002 and 2003 due to the failure of the required number of voters (50% of the list), the duties of the President of Serbia until the election of a new president were performed by the head of the republican assembly. In 2004, the restrictive voter turnout threshold was lifted by legislators and Boris Tadic was elected president of Serbia.
In Montenegro, in a similar situation, this obstacle was removed back in 2003, and Filip Vujanovic was elected the new president in the re-election. The former head of the republic, Milo Djukanovic, moved to the prime minister’s chair. Parliamentary elections in Montenegro were also held according to the proportional system. The variables in this case were the number of “played” deputy mandates (from 125 in 1990 to 71 in 2002) and the electoral threshold for parties to enter parliament, which fluctuated within 3-5% (in 2002 – 3%). In 2004, an agreement was reached between the authorities and the opposition to introduce a differentiated electoral qualification. If for the parties independently participating in the elections, it remained at the level of 3%, then for multi-party coalitions a movable scale was introduced. A threshold of 5% was set for a two-party coalition, 7% for a three-party coalition, and so on.
In the Province of Kosovo and Metohija, legal parliamentary elections to the Assembly of the Province were held in November 2001 on the basis of the “Statutory Framework for Provisional Self-Government” approved by the International Civil Administration (UNMIK).
Of the 120 seats in the regional parliament, 100 were allocated to all registered parties, coalitions and independent candidates, and 20 were reserved for associations of national minorities. And half of them are for the Serbs.
Elections were carried out according to the proportional system with the presence of one electoral unit in the region. The term of the Assembly of Kosovo was limited to 3 years. The regional parliament elected the presidium and the president of Kosovo.
Political parties in Serbia and Montenegro are registered only at the republican level. In Serbia in 2003 there were 274 of them. However, in fact, the number of parties that actively manifested themselves in the political arena is an order of magnitude smaller. The largest were the Democratic Party (Chairman Boris Tadic) and the Democratic Party of Serbia (Chairman Vojislav Kostunica), which turned into the main political rivals after their common victory in October 2000 over the “Milosevic regime”. In addition to them, before the 2003 parliamentary elections, the most prominent role was played by such pro-government parties as the Democratic Party of Serbia (Vladan Batic), the Democratic Center (Dragoljub Micunovic), the Democratic Alternative (Nebojsa Covic) and the Serbian Civil Union (Goran Svilanovic).
Along with the old opposition – the Socialist Party of Serbia (Slobodan Milosevic), the Serbian Radical Party (Vojislav Seselj), the Serbian Renewal Movement (Vuk Draskovic), the Serbian Unity Party (Borislav Pelevich), the new democratic opposition also played an increasingly active role. In addition to the Democratic Party of Serbia, this is primarily the G 17 Plus Party (Miroljub Labus), as well as the New Serbia Party, which was headed by Velimir Ilic, one of the main organizers of the Serbian Democratic Revolution of 2000. At the end of 2003, the Social Democratic Party also went into opposition ( Slobodan Orlic), which led to the loss of the parliamentary majority by the ruling regime.
The parliamentary elections of 2003 led to a new alignment of political forces. Significant success was achieved by parties representing both the new, democratic, and the old, nationalist and leftist opposition. The largest number of seats in the republican parliament (82) was won by the Serbian Radical Party, the Democratic Party of Serbia received 53 mandates, the G 17 Plus party – 34 (3 of which were provided to the Social Democratic Party), the coalition of the Serbian Renewal Movement and the New Serbia Party – 22. won the Socialist Party of Serbia. The political positions of the former leading ruling party, the Democratic Party, have significantly weakened. Despite the fact that her electoral list received 37 seats, she directly got 13 seats less. In accordance with a tough pre-election inter-party agreement, 5 seats from the general electoral list of Democrats were provided to the Democratic Center and the Civil Union of Serbia, and one to the Social Democratic Union. Two more deputy mandates were promised to representatives of the Sandjak parties. As for the representatives of the Vojvodina Hungarians, this time they did not get into the Assembly of Serbia.
In Montenegro, the leading political parties were the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (Milo Djukanovic) and the Socialist People’s Party (Predrag Bulatovic), which broke away from it in 1998, and became the main opposition force. An important political role was also played by the Social Democratic Party (Ranko Krivokapic), the Liberal Union (Vesna Perovic), the People’s Party (Dragan Soch), the Serbian People’s Party (Andrija Mandic). In con. In 2003, some of the former members of the leadership of the latter, headed by the former chairman Bozidar Bojovic, formed their own – the Democratic Serbian Party.
The main players on the political scene in the province of Kosovo and Metohija were such Albanian national parties as the Democratic League (Ibrahim Rugova), the Democratic Party (Hashim Thaci), the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (Ramush Haradinaj), the New Party of Kosovo (Bujar Bukoshi), the Christian Democratic Party (Mark Krasniqi).
Of the Serbian parties, the Democratic Alternative, the Democratic Party of Serbia and the Democratic Party, represented in the Assembly of Kosovo, played the most active role at the provincial level.
The internal political development of the new state community in the next 3 years after the adoption of the Constitutional Charter, despite the official consensus of the vast majority of the political elite, was fraught with an aggravation of the struggle between centrifugal and centripetal forces, and in both republics.
Montenegrin society continued to be deeply divided over the future of relations with Serbia. If the opposition Coalition for Changes (formerly the Coalition for Yugoslavia) as part of the Socialist People’s Party, the People’s Party and the Serbian People’s Party advocated the federal development of Serbia and Montenegro, the ruling bloc of demo-socialists and social democrats did not give up its intention to exercise the right to for a referendum on Montenegrin independence. The Liberal Union also remained in the same positions of separatism, although it switched to cooperation with the federalists on the issue of removing the ruling regime of the DPS-SDP from power. In connection with the manifestations on the Montenegrin side of a clear unwillingness to speed up the process of harmonization of the economic systems of the two states – members of the community, in Serbia, voices in favor of the independence of this republic began to be heard louder and louder. Serbian independence was officially supported by the Democratic Party and the G 17 Plus party.
The foreign policy of the new state community was determined by its internal needs, both economic (providing favorable conditions for the necessary foreign financial injections and for the sale of domestic products in foreign markets) and political (providing international support in strengthening the ruling regime and in settling the Kosovo crisis on the basis of territorial community integrity). Therefore, inclusion in European structures, especially in the EU, was specifically spelled out in the Constitutional Charter as one of the main goals of Serbia and Montenegro. At the same time, an application was made for joining the North Atlantic structures and for a strategic partnership with the United States.
This desire determined the nature of the military reform. The Armed Forces (AF) of Serbia and Montenegro, numbering 78 thousand people. as of 2003, it was recommended by NATO experts to reduce to 50 thousand. As part of the reduction in the Armed Forces, the number of generals in command positions was halved (from 51 to 26). In order to adapt to the NATO program “Partnership for Peace”, the Supreme Defense Council of Serbia and Montenegro approved a new organizational chart of the Armed Forces, headed by a civilian minister of defense from now on.
In addition to the desire to get closer to NATO standards, radical reforms in the military sphere were also due to simple economic calculation. The average salary of a professional soldier was only 1.2 times the minimum wage established by law. Even in 2002, when 41.4 billion dinars (about $700 million) were allocated for military needs, the actual needs of the Armed Forces were estimated at 140 billion dinars.