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Mihajlo Acimovic: About Coalition Vojvodina

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Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 17:17:27 +0200
From: "Mihajlo Acimovic" <>
Subject: About Coalition Vojvodina

Friends, here is another one on the social acters in Yugoslavia. The
reason why I'm sending all this stuff is to give you a deeper insight in
what's going on and who the people on the news are. 

Mihajlo Acimovic


The Coalition Vojvodina is an ellection alliance, which was formed in
1996., by the major pro-autonomy parties in the Vojvodina region, Serbia,
.yu. It's big members are the League of Socialdemocrats of Vojvodina(LSV),
the Reformist Democratic Party of Vojvodina(RDSV) and the People's Peasant
Party. It has managed to enter the federal parliament in the 1996.
elections and has won an overwhelmingly high number of votes at local
elections the same year. Still, it could not establish it's own majority
in any of the municipalities in Vojvodina. instead, it has made broad
coalitions whith the Zajedno coalition and other parties (Democratic Party
of Serbia, Civic forum of Subotica, some hungarian parties) that still
rule most of the urban municipal governments in Vojvodina. 

 The Vojvodina coalition has profited greatly from participating in the
fraud which the government called elections in 1997. The main reason for
this increase in votes was the boycot of some (then parliamentary)
oposition parties like the Democratic Party and the Civic Alliance of
Serbia. still, it got 4 MP's in the Parliament of Serbia and almost
another 4. the reason for the low number of MP's was the disastrous
election law, that had hacked up regions whith one reason alone - to get
Milosevic's parties a victory.  After winning the mandates whithin the
Serbian Parliament, the coalition had broken up. The main reason was
because the leader of the People's Peasant Party, Dragan Veselinov, who
was in charge of the legal procedures had registered it as a 4-member
coalition, which was realised by the other coalition members only after
the elections. The general pre-election agreement was that in such a case,
either the LSV (League of Socialdemocrats of Vojvodina) would get the 4th
place as the biggest or that it would be given to the top bearer of the
list in that region. 

Now, Veselinov demanded that the fourth coalition member, a party nobody
had ever heard of before, gets a seat. This led to a series of mutual
accusations before the media, and members of Veselinov's party had locked
the coalition offices in at least 2 cities, not allowing the members of
the other 2 parties to enter. There was even a legal proceedings over who
has the right to bare the name Vojvodina. Resulting, many people had left
all the 3 parties, and especially the Veselinov's. I am refering to it as
Veselinov's to give you an idea of who is in charge there.  An unsatisfied
group of members of the RDSV had publicly left his party and joined the
Democratic Center, a small party led by Dragoslav Micunovic, former
president of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Center was a member of
the Zajedno Coalition and is a member of the Alliance for Change. The
League of Socialdemocrats Vojvodina (LSV) and the Reformist Democratic
Party of Vojvodina (RDSV)have since been known under the name of the
Vojvodina coalition in most opposition media. Their popularity has
obviously recovered from their slander campaign vs. Veselinov, thanx to
Milosevic's mismanagement of the country and the spreading of pro-autonomy
ideas by some civic groups. Now, more than ever before, many people in
Vojvodina believe that Vojvodina's political independence would be the
only way to escape Milosevic's economic destruction of the country. This
goes well whith LSV's policy, proclaimed in '98 by it's president (or
boss?), Nenad Canak, that Vojvodina must be given at least the status of a
republic whithin the Yugoslav federation. The LSV have been running a
highly aggressive local-shovinist propaganda over the past years, trying
to oppose the state-induced Serbian nationalism, by a new, multiethnic,
but equally agressive Vojvodinian nationalism (or local shovinism). This
concept, although generally opposed by most of the population, has gained
favor whith those hoping to escape Milosevic's rule through an increased
autonomy or independence from Serbia. Also, the shovinist propaganda is
starting to give fruits, resulting in increasement of young followers, who
are generaly uninformed about life in Serbia, excpet Belgrade and believe
that all of Serbia looks like Belgrade (salaries small but come on time,
while in Vojvodina, they are miserable, on those rare occasions when they
do come). The thruth, Serbia is as empovered as Vojvodina. Belgrade is
better because it's the financial and political center of the country. On
the other hand, the RDSV, whith it's leader Predrag Filipov, has stood on
a less agressive and less buisinesslike position, accepting renegades from
"civic" parties like the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of
Serbia. It has support only in some cities and very little in villages. It
wouldn't stand an election chance whithout participating in a coalition.
The result is simple - it has been damaged more in the verbal war whith
Veselinov and has every potential to become just a tag for the growing
populism of the LSV. 

by Mihajlo Acimovic,

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