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Crisis 1999
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Demand for President of Montenegro to Step Down

Why is the Socialist People's Party (SNP) demanding that Milo Djukanovic step down, and why is he claiming that he is not a traitor?

On the Day of National Security, May 13, the MP's club of the Socialist People's Party (SNP) of Montenegro submitted a proposal to the President of the Parliament of Montenegro for stripping the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, from his responsibilities. The Vice- President of SNP, Zoran Zizic, explained that 29 SNP MP's are demanding a discussion on stripping Djukanovic from his responsibilities because "with his stay in Bonn he broke the Constitution of the land, for as a member of the Supreme Security Council, with out the knowledge and consultation with that Council, he spent time in a country which is an aggressor, a country with which diplomatic relations have been broken off, and a country which was among those which initiated the aggression against the FRY."

Zizic stated that Djukanovic broke the Constitution of FR Yugoslavia during his visit to Germany because he spoke about the foreign policies of his country for which, as he stated, Djukanovic does not have authorization. "It is not known what Djukanovic discussed in Bonn, and we cannot believe the meager information that peace was only discussed." The Vice-President of SNP also assessed that the President of Montenegro, "contrary to the Constitution and the law of the land, behind everyone's back, accepted to participate in some Conference on the Balkans, thus directly bringing into question the Resolution on Civili Peace and Order in Montenegro, which was adopted by Parliament."

According to SNP assessments, "with his unconstitutional behavior Djukanovic has threatened the defense system of the country." Zizic explained that the initiative for forcing Djukanovic to step down has been initiated in accordance with the Constitution and will be submitted to the Constitutional Court of Montenegro. When the Constitutional Court passes opinion on the initiative, it will once again be moved back to Parliament, stated Zizic. Djukanovic denounced accusations that he betrayed his country, and in a television address of the Montenegrin members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the occasion of the Day of National Security he said that "we do not have a complex of betrayal which some people in Montenegro and outside of it are trying to brand us with, for we did not betray anyone, nor do we intend to betray anyone." The President of Montenegro stated that he wished to help Yugoslavia "to find its way to reason and to begin taking part in international currents of integration." "Regardless of the criticism of those who disagree with my visit to Bonn, I will continue to search for the solutions which will lead to peace in these territories," stated Djukanovic.

"Kosovo by itself is not a problem, but merely the result of the fact that we have neither democracy, nor democratic institutions in which problems would be solved whenever they arise. And that is why Montenegro is not, nor cannot be indifferent toward the crisis in Kosovo, regardless of the message which was sent to it some time ago that Kosovo is an internal issue for Serbia. At the level of Yugoslavia it is necessary to establish a democratic and reasonable government," stated Djukanovic.

On the very same day in its evening news, Radio Television Serbia (RTS) broadcast commentaries in which it accused the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, and the President of the Democratic Party (DS), Zoran Djindjic, of betraying the country and the Serbian and Montenegrin peoples. RTS called contacts between Djukanovic and Djindjic and NATO officials as "acting against the country and the people" which "cannot be called in any other way than as betrayal and fifth columnist behavior." State television accused them that they are "openly seeking for a foreign protectorate in Serbia and Yugoslavia" and that they are "offering themselves for puppet governments." "Djukanovic and Djindjic are begging their masters for decisive, to be read 'complete', isolation of non- democratic forces and are proposing the establishment of a special OSCE committee for monitoring the political transformation in Yugoslavia," it is stated in the RTS commentary.

Several days earlier (May 8), the President of the Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic, stated in an interview for Montenegrin TV that "the acute crisis" in relations with Belgrade has "passed." At that time Djinjdic predicted that the future of a joint state "will not be problematic if Serbia is democratized." According to the DS President, he and Milo Djukanovic made a plan of "Yugoslavia after the war" with the fundamental idea that Yugoslavia should become a part of the European Community.

The Vice-President of the Government of Montenegro, Novak Kilibarda questioned the existence of the "plan", stating that no "Plan on Yugoslavia after the war" exists, certainly not one authored by Djukanovic and Djindjic. Kilibarda stated for the Beta Agency that Milo Djukanovic is a "democratic statesman" and that if some plan exists, "he would have to consult his coalition partners on that, for he cannot deal with such important issues alone with Djindjic," adding that Djindjic's "slightly pretentious statement does not warrant too much attention", and that "Djindjic should be permitted to come out into the light a bit."

On May 14, after the meeting with Chirac, Djindjic himself denied the existence of a "plan", but stated that he is ready to support the opposition in Serbia. "We did not draw up an agreement, but we are ready to support democratization in Yugoslavia with all those who wish to democratize Serbia and who could bring new, pro- European policies."

The Chiefs of Diplomacy of the European Union stressed in their discussion with the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic in Bruxelles (May 17) that the EU is "very interested in the democratic development of Montenegro", pointing out their readiness to support this both financially and politically. Joshka Fisher stated that it was observed that in Serbia "a democratic alternative exists to the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic," and that the European fifteen have expressed resolve to "offer support th this alternative." "We support the democratization of Yugoslavia in its entirety. In Rambouillet the EU expressed its support of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. Cooperation with Montenegro is the first step in the cooperation with democratic Yugoslavia. This would stabilize the entire region and would mean the joining of the entire FR Yugoslavia into Europe," explained Fisher the positions of the EU.

Source: Vreme

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