Svetozar Marović

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Svetozar Marović
Светозар Маровић
Svetozar Marović.jpg
President of Serbia and Montenegro
In office
7 March 2003 – 3 June 2006
Preceded by Vojislav Koštunica
Succeeded by Position abolished
Prime Minister of Serbia and Montenegro
In office
7 March 2003 – 3 June 2006
Preceded by Dragiša Pešić
Succeeded by Position abolished
President of the Parliament of Montenegro
In office
1994–2001
Preceded by Risto Vukcevic
Succeeded by Vesna Perovic
Personal details
Born (1955-03-31) 31 March 1955 (age 59)
Kotor, SR Montenegro, Yugoslavia
Nationality Montenegrin
Political party Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
Spouse(s) Đina Prelević
Children Miloš Marović
Milena Marović
Religion Eastern Orthodoxy

Svetozar Marović (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Светозар Маровић); born 31 March 1955) is a lawyer and a Montenegrin politician. He was the only president of Serbia and Montenegro. His term officially ended on 3 June 2006 when Montenegro declared its independence.

Marović was born in Kotor to a Grbljanian father and Montenegrin mother. Kotor was the closest town with a maternity ward but he considers Budva his hometown. He grew up there, and ever since his career in high politics took off, his extended family is one of the most affluent in Budva.

He received his degree from Veljko Vlahović University's Faculty of Law in Titograd.

Ongoing role in Montenegrin politics[edit]

In January 1989 Marović seized power over the Socialist Republic of Montenegro together with his partners, Momir Bulatović and Milo Đukanović in an administrative putsch within the League of Communists of Montenegro under the blessings of the Serbian Communists' leader, Slobodan Milošević, which became known as the "anti-bureaucratic revolution". After the first free parliamentary election in 1990 at which the Communist League of Montenegro (SKCG) won majority, he became a member of Montenegro's parliament, and later served as its speaker for three terms. A couple of months after their election win, SKCG was repackaged into the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).

Along with Đukanović and Bulatović, Marović had been a loyal supporter of Slobodan Milošević in all of his policies, but in 1997 he followed Milo Đukanović who broke away from Milošević's influence.

In 2001, former Montenegrin president Momir Bulatović released a tell-all memoir named Pravila ćutanja (The Rules of Keeping Silent), accusing Marović, among many others, of accepting large financial compensation in return for turning a blind eye to widespread oil and tobacco smuggling in Montenegro during the 1990s. Marović and Bulatović are former longtime party colleagues. In addition to former close friendship they also share an even more intimate bond through the godfather relations between their families.

Despite living in close proximity, as well as sharing many personal and political connections, but perhaps not surprisingly, the two have not spoken to each other in almost a decade.

In the book, Bulatović describes a private conversation during the 1990s in which he confronted Marović about the corruption and quotes his answer: "You see, Momir, you're the first ever President of Montenegro - that's the legacy you're passing on to your children. Me, I want something more concrete to leave my kids with."

Marović never responded directly to these claims, mentioning only that he hasn't read the book and punningly adding that he was taught some other rules - "like the rule of keeping silent about untruth and slander".[1]

2006 Montenegrin independence vote[edit]

Marović's political party, the DPS, has backed full independence for Montenegro, and Marović campaigned for a "yes" vote in the 2006 referendum on Montenegrin independence. This put him in the odd position of supporting the breakup of the state of which he is the head. In the wake of the referendum passing, Marović said that on 1 June 2006, he would "hold the last session of the Council of Ministers and resign...from the post of the president of the state union."[2]

Serbia-Montenegro Presidential term 2003-2006[edit]

As the head of Serbia and Montenegro's loose state union, the personal position Marović found himself in was very bizarre and even a bit absurd. Namely, for three years he was the president of the country whose very existence was something that the party of which he's a vice-president (DPS) strived to end. Seeing as how DPS is the leading force in Montenegrin separatist movement and his party president Milo Đukanović a public face of the part of Montenegro pushing to end the union, it was very hard for many to imagine how Marović reconciled those views with his duties of furthering union's interests in the role of its President.

Started on 7 March 2003, Marović's term in office as President of Serbia-Montenegro was marked by his apologies to Croatian and Bosnian citizens as well as his involvement in the military equipment scandal that erupted in September 2005.

Apologies[edit]

On 10 September 2003, during Croatian president Stjepan Mesić's state visit to Belgrade, Marović delivered a public apology for "all evils done by any citizen of Montenegro and Serbia to anyone in Croatia.[3] Mesić immediately followed suit, delivering a general counter-apology to "anyone whom citizens of Croatia caused any pain or damage, anytime, anyplace.[3]

This was particularly significant as far as Marović is concerned because it was in stark contrast to his views from the beginning of the 1990s when he was the author of an infamous phrase: "war for peace," which is how he described and justified the Montenegrin reservists' assault on Dubrovnik and Konavle in 1991.

On 13 November 2003, he visited Sarajevo and issued another apology, this time to citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina on behalf of citizens of Serbia-Montenegro, for "any evil or calamity that anyone in Bosnia-Herzegovina suffered at the hands of anyone from Serbia-Montenegro".[4] Unlike Stipe Mesić few months prior, Marović's Sarajevo hosts, members of Bosnia's 3-man rotating Presidency weren't moved to reciprocate with any kind of an apology.

Military equipment scandal[edit]

On 1 September 2005, Serbian Minister of Finance Mlađan Dinkić called a press conference to publicly show a military contract signed by Svetozar Marović. It was a 5-year arrangement between Serbia-Montenegro's Council of Ministers and Mile Dragić Company of Zrenjanin, stipulating terms of equipment supply to the Army of Serbia-Montenegro (VSCG) for the period between 2006 and 2011. Dinkić revealed: "Among other things, 69,000 helmets were ordered as well as more than 60,000 body armour suits for an Army that numbers 28,000 people!? Also 500 fighter pilot jackets for a fleet of barely 30 planes!"[5]

While the brunt of the responsibility was leveled at Minister of Defense Prvoslav Davinić, Marović was called out for signing and thus legitimizing such an obviously inflated contract that would end up costing the taxpayers of Serbia €296 million.

After budget commission confirmed Dinkić's allegations he went further on 15 September 2005, saying "it's completely clear Marović and Davinić were fully in the know about everything that went on" and also implicated several more defense ministry and army officials.[6]

Davinić eventually resigned, the damaging contract was revoked, but Marović fought back in a written release accusing Dinkić of "libel and destroying state union's institutions". The statement continued: "As state union's president I'm responsible for everything. They should not blame anybody, they should not sue anybody, and they should not judge anybody - but me. Because of that, they should submit everything they have against me. But neither to their party investigators, nor to domestic courts they're squeezing with their temporary ministerial careers. Let them submit everything they have and more to the best, most experienced, most competent, highest paid and best regarded European and world investigators and courts and they will get an answer - that Svetozar Marović is a clean and honest man."

Over the next few days, members of Marović's cabinet, Montenegrin regime officials, as well as PM Milo Đukanović himself were all threatening with pulling all Montenegrin staff from Belgrade.[7][8]

When the dust somewhat settled, Dinkić announced that "budget inspection met many obstructions within Ministry of Defense during the investigation" but that it's determined "to close the issue and put on trial those who are responsible". Whether those include Davinić and Marović, Dinkić was less clear but agreed that "prosecutor's office should go as high up the chain of command as necessary".[9]

Post-Presidential[edit]

In 2007 Svetozar was re-elected Vice-President of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro with a new program. During the conflicts between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the uncanonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church, Marović has stated support of SOC, being the one recognized. In October 2007 he led the DPS-SDP negotiations team on the table to reach a consensus on the new Montenegrin Constitution. The agreement was that the official language will be called Montenegrin, with both Latin and Cyrillic official. Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian recognized. Montenegro will be the state of the Montenegrin people, while Serbs, Bosniacs, Albanians and Croats will be also mentioned in the Constitution. The Church will be separate from the state, none of them mentioned. Montenegrin citizens will not be able to have dual citizenship, however those who have before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence had multiple citizenships will keep it, effectively leaving just the Montenegrins in Serbia unable to hold dual citizenship.

Personal[edit]

Svetozar Marović is married to Đurđina "Đina" Prelević. They have two children - son Miloš and daughter Milena.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prvi beogradski Crnogorac at the Wayback Machine, "Evropa", Slavica Jovović, 26 August 2004
  2. ^ "Swiss news and information platform about Switzerland, business, culture, sport, weather". swissinfo. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Vesti - Marović i Mesić razmenili izvinjenja građanima Hrvatske i SCG". B92. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Vesti - Marović se u Sarajevu izvinio za zla počinjena BIH". B92. 2003-11-13. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  5. ^ "Vesti - 69.000 šlemova za 28.000 ljudi". B92. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Vesti - Dinkić: I Marović i Davinić". B92. 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  7. ^ "Vesti - Povlačenje Crnogoraca iz Beograda?". B92. 2005-09-16. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  8. ^ "Vesti - Panciri, pucanje i prepucavanje". B92. 2005-09-18. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Vesti - Dinkić: Slede nove krivične prijave". B92. 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Vojislav Koštunica
as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
President of Serbia and Montenegro
2003-2006
Position abolished