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Crisis 1999
News Archive 1999

Serbian opposition parties accuse Radicals

Serbian opposition parties accused the ultra- nationalist Serbian Radical Party of cutting a cynical deal to preserve the government while ostensibly trying to quit to collect policital points.

Vojislav Seselj's Serbian Radical Party issued a statement on Monday, saying they are leaving government. But Serbian President Milan Milutinovic issued a decree on Tuesday, ordering them to stay in. Decree was issued in the name of "continuity of the administration", but it's real purpose was to avoid the need for the new, early election. Almost all of opposition parties have demanded elections. Serbian Radical Party officials would not comment on the decree but said there would be a news conference on Thursday. Party has 13 ministers in the 36-member cabinet of Serbia. It's 82 deputies in the 250- seat Serbian parliament voted against the international peace deal. Vuk Draskovic, leader of the moderate Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), said Milutinovic's decree exposed an agreement under which the Radicals will leave the government while actually staying a part of it. "It proves that the regime has decided to lead Serbia astray again, needing the Radicals as fuel". Draskovic told Studio B television. Slobodan Vuksanovic, a deputy head of the Democratic Party, said Seselj had suggested he would leave the government to collect anti- regime votes, and now he could argue he had been prevented from quitting. Tiny, but influental anti-war Civic Alliance party said that Seselj's "partners from rulling Socalists and Yugoslav Left decided not to let Seselj to collect few votes" and that "Seselj, as one of Milosevic's closest ally cannot avoid the responsibility for all of the troubles they made together". Zarko Jokanovic, a leader of the small New Democracy party, said in a letter addressed to Milutinovic that "his decree was keeping in power the architects of evil and misery and the protagonists of continued war and confrontation with the entire world".

Source: Free Serbia

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