Something has happened at the 6th party congress of the Socialist Party of Serbia. All we know thus far is what the media tells us.

Apparently, Bogoljub Bjelica tried to deliver a statement from President Milosevic only to be shouted down by party delegates.

Despite their reprehensible action of booing President Milosevic's envoy the delegates unanimously re-elected Slobodan Milosevic as the President of the SPS against his will. These same delegates refused to elect any of the SPS members named by President Milosevic to the SPS main board.

We are attempting to contact the members of the Organizational-political Committee of the President of SPS, so that we can accurately tell you what is happening and what Slobodan Milosevic's opinion on this matter is.

What follows is a statement from President Milosevic outlining his wishes regarding the Socialist Party of Serbia. This may have been the same statement that Mr. Bjelica was attempting to deliver to the party congress when he was shouted down, but we don't know for sure. We have also included some media reports which may or may not be accurate. As we said we are trying to contact members of the Organizational-political Committee of the President of SPS, which is the only organization that is competent to speak on President Milosevic's behalf.

- Andy Wilcoxson, webmaster of

Statement of Slobodan Milosevic To the members of the Socialist Party of Serbia

There is a threat of slavery, humiliation and poverty over Serbia, the threat that is becoming bigger every day.

For every citizen wishing good to his family and to his country there is no more important goal than freedom.

That goal can be reached only if people's unity about the need of urgent dismount of the puppet government leading the country under control of foreign powers, will be achieved.

Several years on the post of the President of the Republic, I advocated the policy of people's unity.

Achievements of that policy during all these years should honor all the parties and individuals who took part in that policy and protected the country from slavery and humiliation.

All the time, the Socialist Party of Serbia had been the main protagonist of that policy.

The party has been able to act that way only because it put the interests of the people and the state above the party interests and it has acted that way only in proportion with its ability to follow that principle on all levels.

Due to the threats floating over Serbia, people's unity is today even more crucial and necessary.

The fact that I have no personal interest that could differ from the interests of citizens of Serbia gives me the right to struggle for that unity with all my energy.

And the struggle I carry out here is about the vital interests of our country. But it is also about the universal values - freedom and equality of peoples and humans.

In that struggle, I am not President nor representative of the Socialist Party of Serbia, but I am only a fighter for freedom. And I am only one of many who around the globe oppose slavery and new colonialism.

It was my belief that SPS would lead the same struggle in a determined and honorable way in our country which is day by day becoming a protectorate of foreign powers.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen. The actual party leadership had separated from the party members, and, particularly, it lost every connection with the activities concerning our people.

Instead of launching, on the basis of the situation in the country and of heaviest life conditions of the vast majority of citizens, a great mobilization and creation of a powerful and united front to struggle for freedom and for exit from poverty, slavery and humiliation, the actual SPS leadership is devoted, with honorable exceptions, exclusively to their own personal interests.

The consequences of such a behavior of the leadership are the break and liquidation of SPS. Out of all the values of SPS, the actual leadership is trying to preserve only the name (SPS) and to keep by that the party members and citizens of Serbia in the deception that the party leadership struggles for the goals and values they actually left, and that they are ostensibly an opposition to the actual puppet government - while in fact they perform the opposite. The best confirmation for that is the recent decision of the Head Committee to leave the policy of people's unity.

That decision is in contradiction to the interests of the people, to the interests of SPS members, and no doubt, in contradiction to the policy and values I stand for. That decision is a consequence of the organized activities of a group of followers of personal benefit, protectors of personal interests at the top of the party apparatus, which, in collaboration with the DOS regime, work on the degradation of SPS.

They base their influence only on the formal functions and on the control of the party apparatus. In such people even DOS has not enough confidence and therefore, DOS appointed, as their tutors, the representatives of some unexisting parties that allegedly joined SPS.

The explanation that they made the decision to leave the policy of people's unity in order to protect the interests of the party (SPS) is an absurd one - the interests of SPS could not be in contradiction to the interests of the people and the state. That's why that decision is a preelectional favor to DOS and to its foreign sponsors.

What they have done is an attempt to contribute to the break up of the block of the left and patriotic forces, dictated by the representatives of the new world enslavers, colonizers.

These activities are led by the groups around Minic, Andjelkovic, Dacic, Ivkovic, some new vice-presidents and heads of parliamentary groups.

They have succeeded to prevent any real oppositional activity of SPS, to impose to the members engagement in senseless inter-party disputes, "congresses" and "programmatic declarations" - while at the same time Yugoslavia is being abolished, Serbia destroyed and Solana is making a caricature of a kind of a new state.

And they do all this, thanks to the misuse of the fact that I am imprisoned at The Hague, where without their assistance to DOS I wouldn't even be.

About those risks and about their activity, I have warned the Head Committee in August last year in a direct address. Due to the obstruction at the top of the Head Committee, my position had not reached the party members.

Such a practice of preventing my direct contact with the members of SPS and with the public, I consider unacceptable. That's why in my capacity of the President of SPS, who is according to the Statute of SPS a party organ, I decided:

1) To form the

Organizational-political Committee of the President of SPS

The task of the committee is, being in direct contact with the members and local leaderships of SPS, to transmit in a truly and authentic way my positions, and to inform me in return. To stand, in accordance with my positions, for the realization of the Program of SPS and of the policy of people's unity in particular.

Composition of the committee:

1. Bogoljub Bjelica, Chairman of the Committee;

The members:

2. Dragoljub Milanovic, 3. Ratko Zecevic, 4. Zivorad Igic, 5. Milan Janjic, 6. Dragutin - Minja Milovanovic, 7. Vladimir Krsljanin, 8. Igor Raicevic, 9. Uros Suvakovic, 10. Borivoje Drakulovic, 11. Milinko Isakovic, 12. Branko Rakic, 13. Momo Raicevic, 14. Goran Trivan, 15. Miomir Ilic, 16. dr Milos Janicijevic, 17. Miladin Tosic, 18. Tomislav Markovic, 19. Jelena Janjic, 20. Tomislav Lakicevic, 21. Jovica Buduric, 22. Dragoljub Tomasevic, 23. Stevan Spasic, 24. Dejan Stjepanovic, 25. Miroslav Klacar, 26. Zoran Mladenovic, 27. Gorica Gajevic, 28. Aleksandar Vlahovic, 29. Milan Lisov, 30. Jovan Ranisavljevic, 31. Djurica Bulajic, 32. Nikola Canovic, 33. Aleksandar Rastovic

When they need to consult me, individuals and organizations can address to any member of the Committee.

2) To release Mirko Marjanovic from discharging the duties of the President of SPS in my absence.

From now on, the duties of the President of SPS in my absence will be discharged by Bogoljub Bjelica, member of the Executive Committee of the Head Committee of SPS.

At The Hague, August 23, 2002

-Slobodan Milosevic

Reuters, January 18, 2003
Serb Socialists re-elect Milosevic as party chief

BELGRADE - The former ruling Socialist party re-elected as its president on Saturday Slobodan Milosevic, currently standing trial at the U.N. war crimes court, defying Milosevic's own call to appoint someone else.

Party congress delegates loudly booed Bogoljub Bjelica, named by Milosevic to head the party in his absence, when he read out a letter in which the jailed Milosevic called some party officials traitors and demanded they be kicked out.

The denounced officials said Milosevic, who is standing trial for genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1990s' Balkan wars, had been misinformed about the real situation in his party while isolated in his cell at The Hague.

The once-mighty Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), swept away after a decade in power when Milosevic was ousted by reformers in October 2000, is trying to regain some of its influence in Serbian politics despite being plagued by internal rifts.

The party leadership, while not disowning Milosevic -- his vast portrait dominated the podium of the congress hall -- said they were ready to make up for earlier "mistakes" under his rule.

"We are aware of the mistakes and omissions made while we were in power and we are not running away from them," SPS Secretary-General Zoran Andjelkovic told the congress.

Bjelica and other members of a political committee named by Milosevic to stand in for him walked out of the congress, saying they were Milosevic's only legitimate representatives and would consult with him on future steps.

"This congress was called contrary to Milosevic's stand and any decisions by this group are of no consequence to us," Momo Raicevic, a member of the committee, told Reuters.

It was unclear if they would remain within the party. None of the members of the committee were elected to the Socialists' new main board, the main decision-making body of the party.

Tanjug, January 18, 2003
Slobodan Milosevic re-elected as SPS leader
20:59 BELGRADE , January 18 (Tanjug) - Once again delegates of the sixth congress of the Socialists Party of Serbia (SPS) unanimously elected Slobodan Milosevic as SPS leader.
The delegates also elected a 300-member chief committee, which does not include Milosevic's former deputy Bogoljub Bjelica nor the members of the organizational political committee which were nominated by Milosevic himself.

BBC, January 19, 2003
Party faithful heckle Milosevic envoy

Delegates at a Serbian Socialist Party (sic) conference in Belgrade have heckled a message from their leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr. Milosevic is on trial for war crimes at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

His envoy tried to read a letter to the conference, but was shouted down and forced to leave the stage.

In the letter, the former Yugoslav leader accused several party moderates of being traitor and of working for Serbia's pro-Western government.

He demanded that they be expelled.

Delegates nonetheless voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Milosevic to remain the party's president.

Correspondents say the incident highlights the deep divisions within the party between moderates and hardliners loyal to Mr. Milosevic.