Slobodan SELINIĆ

Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, Beograd


Serbian cadre selection to the Presidium of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia 1981–1983: political infighting after the death of Josip Broz 


Abstract: The present paper contributes to the study of Serbia’s position in Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz. Based on insights into the disputes over the election of Serbian members and chair of the LCY Central Committee Presidium in 19811983, it analyzes the relations between politicians from Serbia on the one hand, and the relations of Serbia and other republics and provinces on the other. Prior insights from memoirs and historiographical literature were complemented by archival research. 


Key words: Yugoslavia, Serbia, League of Communists of Yugoslavia, League of Communists of Serbia, political conflicts, Dragoslav Marković, Petar Stambolić, Dušan Dragosavac, Miloš Minić 


Summary: After the death of Josip Broz, the economic crisis in Yugoslavia was evident, socialist self-management was not working, the decrease in living standards was steady, the country saw violent Albanian demonstrations in 1981, and in 1982 it found itself unable to repay its foreign debts.  In 1981, Serbian officials again raised the question of the unequal position of Serbia vis-à-vis the other republics in the 1974 Constitution and subsequent political practice, while the leadership of the autonomous provinces, trying to hold onto their positions, sought allies among politicians outside of Serbia, primarily in BiH and Croatia, as well as in the Federation. In such a situation, the disputes between the republics and provinces reflected onto the Central Committee Presidium. Crises arose in 1981,  when Serbia attempted to prevent the election of Miloš Minić as chairman of this body, a man hailing from Serbia, but with his political stronghold in the provinces and other republics, who opposed the policies of the Serbian leadership, which sought to establish the unity of their republic; in  1982, when the politicians from the provinces, Croatia and BiH attempted to prevent the election of Draža Marković to the Presidium as an outspoken proponent of Serbia; and in 1983, when Serbia nominated Marković for chairman of the Central Committee Presidium.