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|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro|
3 March 2004 - 15 May 2007
|Vuk Jeremi? |
(Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia)
|Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia|
18 January 1999 - 28 April 1999
|Born||29 November 1946|
Me?a, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
|Political party||Serbian Renewal Movement|
|Alma mater||LLB of Univ. of Belgrade Fac. of Law|
Vuk Dra?kovi? (Serbian Cyrillic: , pronounced [v?û:k drâ?k?vit]; 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.
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His father, Vidak, remarried and had two more sons - Rodoljub and Dragan; and three daughters - Radmila, Tanja and Ljiljana with Dara Dra?kovi?, 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, Dra?kovi? spent some time as the personal secretary to the organisation's president Mika ?piljak. 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, Dra?kovi? 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.
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With Mirko Jovi? and Vojislav ?e?elj, Dra?kovi? 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 the late 1980s, Dra?kovi? was in agreement with ?e?elj's sentiments about deporting Albanians from Kosovo and suggested that "a special fund" was needed "to finance the repopulation of Kosovo by Serbs".
In 1990, Dra?kovi? 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-Milo?evi? state media. Following that failure Dra?kovi? kept the pressure on Serbian President Slobodan Milo?evi? 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 Kara?or?evo meeting with Slobodan Milo?evi? held on 30 March 1991, Croatian President Franjo Tu?man stated in a televised press-conference that during the March 9th events, Dra?kovi?'s associates had phoned his government in order to "seek help in toppling the current Serbian regime".
Dra?kovi? 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 Dra?kovi?'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 ?or?e "Gi?ka" Bo?ovi? and Branislav "Beli" Mati?, with Bo?ovi? dying in Croatia in October 1991. Mati? was killed by the Milo?evi? secret police in April 1991. And although Dra?kovi? 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 Stojanovi?, while Dra?kovi?'s anti-war views were sincere, he also supported a nationalist program little different in its goals to that of Milo?evi?, 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 ?in?i? and the Civic Alliance of Serbia under Vesna Pe?i?, which achieved major successes in the local elections in November that same year. After hints of holding secret talks with Milosevic, ?in?i? and Vesna Pe?i? dissolved the coalition when they reneged on the signed coalition document to support Dra?kovi? as a joint candidate in the subsequent Presidential elections in the fall of 1997.
In January 1999, SPO, a parliamentary party, was asked to join a coalition with Milo?evi?'s Socialist Party of Serbia as tension with US and NATO increased in order to use his influence with Western politicians. In early 1999, Dra?kovi? became the deputy prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He did so in response to Milo?evi?'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 Bulatovi? on 28 April 1999.
In what he himself later termed "a bad political move", Dra?kovi? kept his SPO out of the wide anti-Milo?evi? Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition that formed in 2000, meaning that his candidate in the 24 September 2000 federal presidential elections, Vojislav Mihailovi?, achieved little success and that SPO also was not successful in the subsequent parliamentary election where the DOS won overwhelmingly. Because of this, Dra?kovi? 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 Dra?kovi? change his personal appearance and tone down his fiery rhetoric, he ended up with only 4.5% of the total vote, well behind Vojislav Ko?tunica (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, Dra?kovi? entered his party into a pre-election coalition with New Serbia (NS), thus reuniting with old party colleague Velimir Ili?. 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, Dra?kovi? received the high-ranking position of Serbia and Montenegro's foreign minister.
In response to Montenegro's vote for independence, Dra?kovi? 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, Dra?kovi? 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, Dra?kovi? 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".