|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro|
3 March 2004 – 15 May 2007
|Prime Minister||Vojislav Koštunica|
|Preceded by||Goran Svilanović|
Vuk Jeremić |
(Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia)
|Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia|
18 January 1999 – 28 April 1999
|Prime Minister||Momir Bulatović|
29 November 1946|
Međa, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
|Political party||Serbian Renewal Movement|
|Alma mater||LLB of Univ. of Belgrade Fac. of Law|
Vuk Drašković (Serbian Cyrillic: Вук Драшковић, pronounced [v̞ûːk drâʃkɔvit͡ɕ]; born 29 November 1946) is Serbian writer and politician. He is the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, and served as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of both Serbia and Montenegro and Serbia.
Early life and career
His father, Vidak, remarried and had two more sons - Rodoljub and Dragan; and three daughters - Radmila, Tanja and Ljiljana with Dara Drašković, meaning that young Vuk grew up with five half-siblings.
Between 1969-78, he was involved with journalism. He first worked for the state news agency Tanjug as its African correspondent stationed in Nairobi, Kenya, before taking a job as press adviser in the Yugoslav Workers Union Council (SSRNJ).
During his time at SSRNJ, Drašković spent some time as the personal secretary to the organisation's president Mika Špiljak. During the same period his novels The Judge and Knife were published, raising quite a controversy among Yugoslav ruling communist elites. Soon afterwards, due to popular demand, Prayer and Russian Consul were published as well.
Due to his controversial literary engagement, Drašković was considered somewhat of a dissident even though he had been a member of the Yugoslav Communist League (SKJ) since his 4th year of university studies.
With Mirko Jović and Vojislav Šešelj, Drašković founded the Serbian National Renewal party (SNO) in 1989. However, the trio soon found themselves at political crossroads and their party disintegrated in three pieces.
In 1990, Drašković founded the Serbian Renewal Movement (Srpski Pokret Obnove, SPO), a democratic nationalist party. They participated in the first post-communist democratic elections, held on 9 December 1990, but finished a distant second amidst the total blackout from the pro-Milošević state media. Following that failure Drašković kept the pressure on Serbian President Slobodan Milošević via street protests, organizing mass demonstrations in Belgrade on 9 March 1991.
The police intervened, and clashed with demonstrators with some damage to public buildings resulting in the Yugoslav People's Army having to be brought in.
Following the Karadjordjevo meeting with Slobodan Milošević held on 30 March 1991, Croatian President Franjo Tuđman stated in a televised press-conference that during the March 9th events, Drašković's associates had phoned his government in order to "seek help in toppling the current Serbian regime".
While Draskovic's party vehemently denied any such contact was made with Croatian authorities, many in Serbia feared subtle but growing symbiosis between two leaders in both Serbia and Croatia.
Drašković focused his moderate right-wing program and rhetoric on Serbian pro-Western shift, anti-communism and romanticized Serbian identity-renewal. His plan was to rapidly transform the biggest and most populous part of Yugoslavia (Serbia) according to Western standards so that the eventual international involvement in solving Yugoslav crisis would turn in Serbian favour and produce a peaceful solution. His ideological opponents often cite his strong nationalist feelings (attempting rehabilitation of Serb-nationalist Chetniks) as contrarian to his insistence on peaceful solution to the Yugoslav crisis.
His political opponents have claimed Drašković's political engagement at this early stage of his political career is full of inconsistencies and seemingly diametrically opposing views and actions. However, according to Draskovic, his (and that of his party) pro-Western peaceful stance, has never wavered since the start of the political crisis in Yugoslavia. He insisted that Serbian government should promote radical democratic shift, renew traditional alliances with Western nations (including entry into NATO) as a way to preserve some form of Yugoslav confederation rather than pursue direct confrontation with the Croats.
His party SPO organized a paramilitary unit called the Serbian Guard led by former criminals such as Đorđe "Giška" Božović and Branislav "Beli" Matić, with Božović dying in Croatia in October 1991. Matić was killed by the Milošević secret police in April 1991. And although Drašković initially claimed this militia was an incitement to Serbian authorities to form a non-ideological and a national armed force outside of Yugoslav People's Army (see last quote), he eventually distanced himself from the paramilitary formation altogether.
According to historian Dubravka Stojanović, while Drašković's anti-war views were sincere, he also supported a nationalist program little different in its goals to that of Milošević, and he and his party was never able to reconcile these opposing currents.
In early 1992, he called on all citizens of Bosnia to reject nationalism. In 1993, he and his wife Danica were arrested, beaten and sent to a high-security prison. Only his hunger strike, and international outrage pressured the Yugoslav government to release the couple.
In 1996, SPO formed the opposition alliance Zajedno ("Together") with the Democratic Party of Zoran Đinđić and the Civic Alliance of Serbia under Vesna Pešić, which achieved major successes in the local elections in November that same year. After hints of holding secret talks with Milosevic, Đinđić and Vesna Pešić dissolved the coalition when they reneged on the signed coalition document to support Drašković as a joint candidate in the subsequent Presidential elections in the fall of 1997.
Drašković's SPO participated on its own at the September 1997 election, boycotted by his former partners despite an array of local electronic media outlets being in opposition hands.
In January 1999, SPO, a parliamentary party, was asked to join a coalition with Milošević's Socialist Party of Serbia as tension with US and NATO increased in order to use his influence with Western politicians. In early 1999, Drašković became the deputy prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He did so in response to Milošević's appeal for national unity in the face of Albanian uprising in Kosovo and a looming confrontation with NATO. He was sacked by the Prime Minister Momir Bulatović on 28 April 1999.
In what he himself later termed "a bad political move", Drašković kept his SPO out of the wide anti-Milošević Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition that formed in 2000, meaning that his candidate in the 24 September 2000 federal presidential elections, Vojislav Mihailović, achieved little success and that SPO also was not successful in the subsequent parliamentary election where the DOS won overwhelmingly. Because of this, Drašković and his party were marginalized over the next three years.
In the fall of 2002, he attempted a comeback as one of the eleven candidates in the Serbian presidential elections, which were subsequently unsuccessful due to low turnout. Despite a polished marketing campaign that saw Drašković change his personal appearance and tone down his fiery rhetoric, he ended up with only 4.5% of the total vote, well behind Vojislav Koštunica (31.2%) and Miroljub Labus (27.7%), both of whom moved on to the second-round runoff.
His next chance for political redemption came in late 2003. Fully aware of SPO's, as well as his own, weak political standing after more than 3 years in political oblivion, Drašković entered his party into a pre-election coalition with New Serbia (NS), thus reuniting with old party colleague Velimir Ilić. Joining forces for the 2003 parliamentary election, they achieved limited success, but more importantly managed to get into the coalition that formed the minority government (along with DSS, G17 Plus), providing it with critical parliamentary seats to keep the far-right radicals (SRS) at bay.
In the subsequent division of power, Drašković received the high-ranking position of Serbia and Montenegro's foreign minister.
In response to Montenegro's vote for independence, Drašković called for a restoration of Serbia's monarchy: "This is an historic moment for Serbia itself, a beginning which would be based on the historically-proven and victorious pillars of the Serbian state and I am talking about the pillars of a kingdom." After the breakup with Montenegro in June 2006, Drašković served (until May 2007) as the foreign minister of the Republic of Serbia, a successor to the state union of Serbia-Montenegro.
In August 2010, Drašković argued in favour of changing the Serbian Constitution of 2006 to remove references to Kosovo as a part of Serbia because according to him "Serbia has no national sovereignty over Kosovo whatsoever. All of Serbia knows that Kosovo is not really a province within Serbia, that it is completely beyond the control of the government and the state of Serbia".
- Stojanović, Dubravka (2000). "The Traumatic Circle of the Serbian Opposition". In Popov, Nebojša. The Road to War in Serbia. Budapest: Central European University Press. pp. 473–77. ISBN 963-9116-56-4.
- Rekonstrukcija savezne vlade, vreme.com; accessed 26 May 2018.
- Serbian Ex-Foreign Minister Calls For Expunging Kosovo From Constitution, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 7 August 2010.
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| Minister of Foreign Affairs
2004 – 2007