(b. 24 Mar. 1944).
President of Yugoslavia, 2000–3, Serbian Prime Minister 2004–2008. Born in Belgrade, he graduated with a doctorate in jurisprudence, and in 1970 he became a lecturer at the University of Belgrade. Four years later, he lost his position in the purges of 1974, and became an editor of political literature. He gained a seat in Yugoslavia's first multi‐party elections in 1990 on a nationalist ticket. In 1992 he founded the ultra‐nationalist Serbian Democratic Party, whose president he became. On this platform, he became head of a coalition of opposition parties in the 2000 presidential elections that accused Milošević of selling out his country following the Kosovo War. When it became apparent that these elections had been manipulated, he put himself at the head of a popular movement that spread quickly and forced Milošević to resign.
As President of Yugoslavia, he had only limited authority over the parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro. Koštunica did oversee the peaceful relinquishing of power by Milošević's Socialist Party. He was concerned to prevent the breakup of Yugoslavia, and was often at odds with Serbia's democratically elected Prime Minister, Djindjić, about the need to accommodate the demands of the United States and the EU.
In 2004, he led a coalition of liberal and moderate nationalist parties as Serbian Prime Minister. He was unable to prevent the break‐away of Montenegro as an independent state in 2006, but he was determined not to allow Kosovo independence following the UN report on Kosovo's status in 2007. In early 2007, his party lost votes in the general election, and came behind its coalition partner, the pro‐Western and pro‐EU Democratic Party of Boris Tadic. He formed an uneasy coalition with the Democratic Party, which allowed him to remain in office. He resigned in 2008 following the declaration of independence by Kosovo.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).