Anniversary of death of former President Milosevic
The anniversary of the passing of former Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was marked on Wednesday in Pozarevac, eastern Serbia.Source: B92
Citizens, a government minister, a delegation of the party Milosevic founded and led until his death, the Socialists (SPS), and leader of the Radicals (SRS) Vojislav Seselj all gathered to pay their respects.
B92's reporter was told in Pozarevac that fewer people come each year to mark the anniversary, but that there are also those who visit the grave every time the gate to the garden of Milosevic's family home, where he was buried, is opened.
Mostly senior citizens gathered to reminisce about the 1990s and the rule that they say brought them the best years of lives. They also say that they visit the grave whenever they can.
For some that era was "unforgettable" while "all is empty without him."
For the Socialists, Serbia is still in trouble, maybe even worse than during the sanctions. Milutin Mrkonjic said he will insist that top state officials create the conditions for the return of the Milosevic family to Serbia.
A delegation of the SPS showed up in "a modest composition" with two members of the presidency and a secretary, again without its leader, Ivica Dacic, who took over at the party's after Milosevic's death in 2006.
As Mrkonjić said, Dacic on Wednesday had an important state task in Zagreb, and he pointed out that in "everyone in the SPS respects Milosevic."
The only member of the current government who was in Pozarevac today was Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin. He said that even nine years later, Serbia has not forgotten its first democratically elected president.
"In a democracy, people cannot be wrong, whatever the decision, it was a decision from God. And did Milosevic make mistakes - he did. He was especially wrong when it comes to his associates, but his enemies selected him unerringly. No enemy of his was only his, but also the whole of Serbia," the minister said.
The autocratic rule of Slobodan Milosevic, that saw him elected twice as president of Serbia and once president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ), ended after ten years in 2000 when an opposition coalition won the election. The Hague Tribunal raised the first war crimes indictment against him in 1999, and the Serbian authorities extradited him in 2001.
He died in detention in the Hague, before the end of his trial.
For the first time, Vojislav Seselj had the opportunity to visit Milosevic's grave on the anniversary of his death, and described him as "a true friend and a Hague hero" that the state should honor instead of "criminals, mafiosi, and traitors like Zoran Djindjic."
The anniversary of Djindjic's assassination will be marked tomorrow.