ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Yugoslavia : New Beginning

New Beginning The forces of democracy swept over Yugoslavia this week, bringing an end to Slobodan Milosevic

The forces of democracy swept over Yugoslavia this week, bringing an end to Slobodan Milosevic's 13-year rule over this war-ravaged country. Milosevic, an experienced pro at handling public outbursts and opposition, failed in his attempts to hang on to power after losing the election on September 24, in spite of a court order annulling the election. A massive public uprising by coal miners and the people who poured into the streets of Belgrade by the thousands enabled Vojislav Kostunica, a law professor and victor in the election, to oust Milosevic and take over as president. The dramatic turn of events marks the initial movement towards restoration of democracy in the Yugoslav federation, now composed of Serbia and Montenegro. Complex problems, any of which could cause the new order to come tumbling down, must be tackled to consolidate this democratic revolution.

The real battle for institutionalising democracy in parliament and other key centres of power in Serbia begins now. After some hard negotiations, in which Milosevic's socialists attempted to create turmoil, Kostunica was able to set the date for holding parliamentary elections in December. Yet ensuring the support of parliament, judiciary and other institutions, which have been under Milosevic's control for years, will not be easy. The police, until now hard-line supporters of Milosevic, seemed to back away from using extreme force during the popular protests which forced Milosevic's capitulation. However, it is still not clear which way they will go.

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