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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 22:40 GMT
Serbia bloc folds after key role
Belgrade crowds celebrate Milosevic overthrow
Dos brought down Milosevic in 2000
The Serbian political alliance which overthrew Slobodan Milosevic has ceased to exist.

The 18-party Democratic Opposition of Serbia (Dos) has become bogged down by internal divisions since toppling the former president in 2000.

Dos' fortunes suffered their latest blow last weekend, in a third failed attempt to elect a Serbian president.

Their candidate fared worse than Tomislav Nikolic, of the nationalist Radical Party.

The coalition has exhausted up its possibilities and tasks
Dos final statement

Once again the poll failed to attract enough voters to be legally valid.

Parliamentary elections are due on 28 December, called a year early when the pro-Western government last week lost its majority in the assembly.

Dos leaders stressed their key role in Serbia's history.

"The Dos presidency concluded that with its victory (against Milosevic) in 2000, the coalition made a historic step and took Serbia toward democracy and international integration," said a final Dos statement. "The coalition has exhausted its possibilities and tasks."

There were mistakes, we have to see what they were, remove them and contest the race like real democrats
Dragoljub Micunovic
Dos failed presidential runner
Some leading figures said lessons from Dos' failure had to be learned.

"There were mistakes, we have to see what they were, remove them and contest the race like real democrats," Dragoljub Micunovic, the failed presidential candidate and leader of a small Dos party.

He said Dos' final meeting had been held in a "friendly and sentimental" atmosphere.

The largest Dos party, the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic, is expected to contest December's parliamentary poll alone.

Other smaller parties are thought likely to seek new alliances.

Historic role

At its creation in 2000, Dos brought together diverse opposition groups united in their desire to oust then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his Socialist Party.

The parties chose Vojislav Kostunica as their united presidential candidate. Mr Milosevic's attempts to annul his rival's election victory sparked a popular uprising which led to his overthrow.

The new government later handed Mr Milosevic over to the UN war crimes tribunal, where he is still on trial for war crimes including genocide.

Internal feuding weakened the group's public standing, and the assassination of the bloc's prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, also dealt a heavy blow to Dos.




SEE ALSO:
Serb turnout worst in past year
18 Nov 03  |  Europe
Uncertain times ahead for Serbia
17 Nov 03  |  Europe
'Third failure' for Serbia poll
16 Nov 03  |  Europe
Serbs repeat presidental poll
14 Nov 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Serbia and Montenegro
23 Jul 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: After Milosevic
13 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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