Back to Archive Hope on the Balkans   Kosov@ Crisis 1999
Back to Kosov@
Crisis 1999
News Archive 1999

Federal Dialogue between Serbia and Montenegro

The Constitution will be changed

by V. Milovanovic

The conversations on the crucial relationships between members of the Federation and on the future of FRY have not practically begun, as some participants of the talks said to the journalists

"We reached the consensus about the fact that the Federation is being in a deep crisis which can be superseded only by democratic talks on redefining the relationships between the members. Both sides are ready to progress the dialogue", as Zeljko Sturanovic, leader of the representative club of the Democratic Party of Socialists in Montenegro described in the Civic Council of the Yugoslav Parliament the course of the meeting between the delegations of the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Yugoslav Left and the Serbian Radical Party. At the moment of completing this issue of VREME, the meeting between DPS and the Serbian Renewal Movement was being held, after which the meetings between the Democratic Party and other parties which have representatives in the Federal Parliament were about to follow. At the same time, talks between the Socialist National Party of Momir Bulatovic with the same parties from Serbia also took place, while a meeting between the DPS and the SNP delegates was not announce at all. "From the point of view of DPS, the crisis of functioning of the federal state culminated with the disapproval of the democratically exhibited will of the citizens of Montenegro at the last parliamentary and presidential elections", stated Sturanovic, while the rest of participants remained quiet on this subject. "The dialogue commenced", was all that leader of the Radicals, Vojislav Seselj was ready to say to his party's journalists. Head of the JUL delegation, Zivko Sokolovacki was more eloquent. He said to the journalists that his party is prepared to discuss thoroughly, together with DPS, all matters about "functioning and future of our joint state". The conversations on the crucial relationships between members of the Federation and on the future of FRY have not practically begun, as some participants of the talks said to the journalists. Talking in the name of those who organised these dialogues (DPS), Sturanovic could not specify when the negotiations about the actual matters will begin, though he expressed hope that it might happen "as soon as the expert team of the Montenegro government elaborates the details of the Platform on redefining the relationships within the Federation". The leader of the federal representative group of SPS, Milutin Stojkovic was somewhat more specific, stating that he expected the mentioned document on Friday, which will mark the resumption of the dialogue between Serbia and Montenegro. Announcing that the next stage of the talks "will welcome the presence of public spectators", Stojkovic estimated that solutions for the existing problems "must be looked for within the frames of the FRY Constitution". The similar attitude on the following course of the talks was demonstrated by Sokolovacki. "We are ready to argue all questions in a democratic and official manner, thus in accordance with the Constitution. In addition to all that, we do not overlook the necessity of possible corrections and upgrading of the Constitution", said Sokolovacki. Sturanovic, on the other hand, claims that "Montenegro stresses the importance of the content rather than that of the form of the future joint state", but he added that the alterations of the Constitution are inevitable. "We are of the opinion that FRY has to be a state consisted of two equal members, based on democratic principles and on becoming a member of the European and Euro-Atlantic integration. In order to achieve all that, the Constitution reform is unavoidable, since it became manifest that the previous Constitution resolutions offered space for abuse, owing to which Montenegro suffered enough", Sturanovic judged. Momir Bulatovic refused to talk to the journalists, while his party colleague Predrag Bulatovic stated that SNP always interceded in favour of the joint state, and that the Constitution therefore makes it possible. "If it turns that it (the Constitution) is the obstacle to our common life, we are ready to make some compromises", Bulatovic concluded.


The inter-party conversations in the Federal Parliament were held behind the closed door, so that reporters could not experience the atmosphere in which they took place. Although all participants asserted that the talks passed in "the spirit of tolerance and understanding", the journalists in front of the assembly room could suddenly hear a clamorous dispute, in which Seselj was dominating, but it was not possible to "catch" the content. The journalists were "controversial" from the very beginning. The talks between Serbia and Montenegro have already begun when the journalists were permitted to enter the parliament building. Until then, the kind security staff allowed waiting in the lobby, where the final decision about the reporting from the meeting was being waited for.

Source: Vreme

Back to Archive | Back to Kosov@ Crisis 1999