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Milosevic's Party to Share Power

October 17, 2000|Associated Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — In an accord weakening the old guard, President Vojislav Kostunica won agreement Monday from Slobodan Milosevic's party to share power in Serbia, Yugoslavia's dominant republic, until Dec. 23 elections.

Since his victory in the Sept. 24 presidential elections was confirmed by a revolt in the streets, Kostunica has been trying to assert his authority in Serbia.

On Monday, Serbian legislative elections, which had been set for next autumn, were moved up to Dec. 23--a gain for Kostunica's efforts to secure control of the Serbian parliament, still dominated by Milosevic allies.

Milosevic's Socialist Party also agreed to share the Serbian ministries of police, information, justice and finance among three appointees--from the Socialists, Kostunica's Democratic Opposition of Serbia and the opposition group Serbian Renewal Movement.

The agreement represented an important advance for Kostunica in his efforts to sweep the old order from all remaining positions of power.

The power-sharing deal lets the Socialists keep the office of prime minister in Serbia. But the prime minister can now make decisions only in consensus with two deputy prime ministers--one from Kostunica's camp and the other from the Serbian Renewal Movement.

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