Milosevic’s backers abandon negotiations

Associated Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — Allies of Slobodan Milosevic broke off talks Tuesday on handing over what remaining authority they hold, prompting a warning of renewed popular revolt.

The development threatens prospects for a peaceful transfer of power after days of success by newly installed President Vojislav Kostunica in forcing Milosevic appointees from office.

Milosevic’s Socialist Party and its ally, the Serbian Radical Party walked out of talks on forming a new government in Yugoslavia’s larger republic Serbia. They said they would come back only "after the end of riots, violence and lawlessness against the citizens of Serbia."

They were alluding to moves targeting heads of state companies and other institutions still run by the former president’s people. Such incidents included reports of a forceful takeover of the state customs office, major banks and nearly all key companies and factories remaining in pro-Milosevic hands.

The Radicals said people were being "lynched by mobs belonging to the illegal regime of the Democratic Opposition," meaning Kostunica’s alliance.

The walkout provoked a sharp response from a provincial leader who played a key role in mobilizing Thursday’s march on Belgrade, which flared into violence and forced Milosevic to concede electoral defeat to Kostunica.

Velimir Ilic, the mayor of Cacak, told The Associated Press that the "people’s patience is exhausted."

"Serbs are so eager to see changes, and I do not know who and how will protect Socialists if they continue to drag their feet," Ilic said. "Those who lost should go peacefully."

Even before the talks broke down, there were problems. Kostunica’s key aide, Zoran Djindjic, said Milosevic’s cronies were trying to retain control over the police by keeping Serbia’s Interior Ministry. And he said State Security, Serbia’s feared secret service that reported only to Milosevic, is "still closed for us."

Eager to shore up his power base, Kostunica is trying to install his own supporters in the country’s most important institutions, including the police, judiciary, banks and state-run companies.

The breakdown in talks about Serbia’s government dampened euphoria over the peaceful consolidation of authority by allies of Kostunica, who was sworn in Saturday.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read