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Thursday, August 12, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK


World: Europe

Milosevic allies dominate new cabinet

Vojisav Seselj's ultra-nationalists oppose constitutional change

By Jacky Rowland in Belgrade

Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic has reshuffled his government in an attempt to regain the political initiative from the opposition.

Kosovo: Special Report
The changes come amid opposition calls for a transitional government to lead the country out of its crisis.

The authorities in Belgrade say the reshuffle will create a united front as Yugoslavia tries to recover from the Nato bombing campaign.

The bulk of the ministers come from President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party and from the Yugoslav Left - a party run by his wife, Mira Markovic.

There are also five ministers from the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party, which is already represented in the Serbian cabinet but will only now enter the federal cabinet.

Tightening ranks


[ image: Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic's reshuffle is a blow to the opposition]
Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic's reshuffle is a blow to the opposition
The cabinet reshuffle is clearly intended to tighten ranks around Mr Milosevic, who is under increasing pressure from the opposition and civic organisations to resign.

It also appears to be the authorities' response to opposition proposals for a transitional government of technocrats.

Under the opposition plans, all established political parties would withdraw from the scene for a year while a panel of experts would prepare the country for democratic elections.

The authorities have dismissed this project as a political fraud.

New opposition movement

In a separate development, the former army chief of staff, General Momcilo Perisic, has launched a new opposition movement.

The general - who was dismissed by President Milosevic last year - said it was time for the people to take their destiny into their own hands; and he issued a veiled warning to the new army leadership not to try to use its weapons against the people.
Serbian Opposition at a Glance






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