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Democratic Party (Serbia)

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Democratic Party
Демократска странка
Demokratska stranka
AbbreviationDS
PresidentZoran Lutovac
Deputy PresidentDragana Rakić
Vice Presidents
Parliamentary leaderZoran Lutovac
FounderThe Founding Committee of the Democratic Party
Founded3 February 1990 (1990-02-03)
HeadquartersNušićeva 6/II, Belgrade
NewspaperBedem
Youth wingDemocratic Youth
Ideology
Political positionCentre to centre-left
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Colours
  •   Yellow
  •   Blue
National Assembly
10 / 250
Assembly of Vojvodina
0 / 120
City Assembly of Belgrade
7 / 110
Party flag
Flag of the Democratic Party
Website
ds.org.rs

The Democratic Party (Serbian: Демократска странка, romanizedDemokratska stranka; listen , DS) is a social-democratic and social-liberal political party in Serbia.

The party was officially founded on 3 February 1990 by a group of Serbian intellectuals as a revival of the original Yugoslav Democratic Party. It was one of the main opposition parties to the presidency of Slobodan Milošević during the 1990s. Democratic Party joined the Democratic Opposition of Serbia coalition in 2000, and became part of the new coalition government after the 2000 parliamentary election. Zoran Đinđić, then president of the Democratic Party, became the Prime Minister of Serbia in January 2001, but was assassinated in 2003, and the Party lost the power at the parliamentary election later that year. New president of the Democratic Party, Boris Tadić, won the 2004 presidential election, and the party returned to power after the 2007 and 2008 parliamentary elections. Tadić was reelected in 2008, but in 2012 he lost the 2012 presidential and the party lost the parliamentary elections, so it returned to opposition. Dragan Đilas, then-Mayor of Belgrade was elected as new party president after the loss of the 2012 elections. After more disappointing results in the 2014 election, Bojan Pajtić, then-President of the Government of Vojvodina, replaced Đilas as the party president. In 2016 he was succeeded by Dragan Šutanovac. After Šutanovac resigned in 2018, Zoran Lutovac was elected new president of the party. The Democratic Party is a full member of the Progressive Alliance (PA), and is an associate member of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Discover more about Democratic Party (Serbia) related topics

2000 Serbian parliamentary election

2000 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on 23 December 2000. They were the first free parliamentary elections after the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević. The result was a victory for the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, which won 176 of the 250 seats in the National Assembly.

Assassination of Zoran Đinđić

Assassination of Zoran Đinđić

Zoran Đinđić, the sixth Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, was assassinated on Wednesday 12 March 2003, in Belgrade, Serbia. Đinđić was fatally shot by a sniper while exiting his vehicle outside of the back entrance of the Serbian government headquarters.

2003 Serbian parliamentary election

2003 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 28 December 2003 to elect members of the National Assembly.

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić is a Serbian politician who served as the president of Serbia from 2004 to 2012.

2004 Serbian presidential election

2004 Serbian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on Sunday, 13 June 2004. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round was held on Sunday, 27 June. Boris Tadić, the pro-western Democratic Party's candidate, was the eventual victor with 54% of the vote.

2007 Serbian parliamentary election

2007 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 21 January 2007 to elect members of the National Assembly. The first session of the new National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia was held on 14 February 2007. The elections enabled the coalition of DS; DSS & G17+ to continue.

2008 Serbian parliamentary election

2008 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 11 May 2008 to elect members of the National Assembly. The election was held barely a year after the previous parliamentary election. There were 6,749,886 eligible electors who were able to vote in 8,682 voting places, as well as 157 special voting stations for refugees from Kosovo.

2008 Serbian presidential election

2008 Serbian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Serbia on January 20 and February 3, 2008. Incumbent President Boris Tadić was re-elected as president in the second round with 51% of the vote, defeating challenger Tomislav Nikolić.

2012 Serbian presidential election

2012 Serbian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Serbia on 6 May 2012 alongside parliamentary elections. The elections were called following President Boris Tadić's early resignation in order to coincide with the parliamentary and local elections to be held on the same date. The Speaker of the Parliament, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, took over as the Acting President. As no candidate won a majority, a runoff was on 20 May, with incumbent Tadić facing Tomislav Nikolić of the Serbian Progressive Party.

2012 Serbian parliamentary election

2012 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 6 May 2012 to elect members of the National Assembly, and were held simultaneously with provincial, local, and presidential elections.

2014 Serbian parliamentary election

2014 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 16 March 2014, with nineteen electoral lists competing for 250 members of the National Assembly. The election was called early, after tensions in the coalition led by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić scheduled the election at the same time as the previously announced Belgrade City Assembly election. Voter turnout was 53.09%, with 3.22% of votes invalid.

Bojan Pajtić

Bojan Pajtić

Bojan Pajtić is a Serbian politician who served as the President of the Government of Vojvodina from 2004 to 2016.

History

Formation

Dragoljub Mićunović served as the first president of DS, from 1990 to 1994
Dragoljub Mićunović served as the first president of DS, from 1990 to 1994

On 11 December 1989, a group of intellectuals held a press conference announcing the revival of the Democratic Party, which had existed in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until 1948 when the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, later known as League of Communists of Yugoslavia,[1] came to power.[2][3]: 142 [4]: 26  The original thirteen signatories of the proclamation of the Founding Committee included Kosta Čavoški, Milovan Danojlić, Zoran Đinđić, Gojko Đogo, Vladimir Gligorov, Slobodan Inić, Marko Janković [sr], Vojislav Koštunica, Dragoljub Mićunović, Borislav Pekić, Miodrag Perišić, Radoslav Stojanović, and Dušan Vukajlović.[5][6] These intellectuals were anti-communist dissidents, liberal academics, poets, writers, film and theatre directors.[7] During the press conference, they proclaimed the "letter of intent", after which a larger number of intellectuals decided to join DS.[7][8]

At the time of the proclamation in 1989, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was still a one-party state, while DS became the first opposition and non-communist unregistered party in Yugoslavia.[4]: 25 [9][10] However, after the dissolution of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in January 1990, its constituent republics, later including Serbia, adopted multi-party systems.[11][12] DS organised its founding assembly on 3 February 1990 at the Belgrade Youth Center.[3]: 142 [8][13] The presidency of the DS was contested between Čavoški and Mićunović, with the latter ultimately winning the position of the president of DS.[4]: 27  Čavoški ended up serving as the president of the party's main board while Pekić became the vice-president of DS.[8][14] The rift between Čavoški and Mićunović, regarding ideological differences, had already existed, with Čavoški wanting to adopt a more hardline rhetoric and to focus on national interests.[4]: 27 [10][15] According to Mićunović, Čavoški registered the party in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 1990 because Serbia did not yet adopt a law on the multi-party system.[14]

1990–1993

Following the formation of DS, the party began publishing its newspaper Demokratija, while it also established the Democratic Youth, its youth wing.[16][17][18] Gligorov and Inić, who worked on the economic programme of the party, left DS shortly after its formation; Inić left due to ideological disagreements, while Gligorov cited personal reasons.[8][10][18] At its second assembly in September 1990, Mićunović was re-elected president of DS while Koštunica and Desimir Tošić [sr] were elected vice-presidents of the party.[19] A month later, DS announced that it would take part in the 1990 Serbian parliamentary election. This decision was opposed by Čavoški and Nikola Milošević, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision of DS and advocated an election boycott instead.[20]: 71–73  Čavoški and Milošević left DS shortly before the election and formed the Serbian Liberal Party in January 1991.[8][20]: 80  Đinđić succeeded Čavoški as the president of the party's main board.[19] Despite winning 7% of the popular vote in the 1990 election, DS only won 7 seats in the National Assembly due to the first-past-the-post system which favoured the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), then-ruling party of Serbia.[12][21]: 142 

Together with the Serbian Renewal Movement, it organised mass protests in Belgrade in March 1991, demanding democratic reforms.[22][23]: 44  After the breakup of Yugoslavia in early 1992, Serbia became a part of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[24][25] First federal parliamentary elections were organised for May 1992, although DS decided to boycott the election.[23]: 84 [26]: 1678  A month later, DS concluded to not join the Democratic Movement of Serbia coalition, which was met with backlash from Koštunica.[8][19] Koštunica soon after left DS with Mirko Petrović, Draško Petrović, and Vladan Batić to form the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS).[14][18][27] After mass protests in 1992, another federal parliamentary election was organised for December 1992.[26]: 1704  DS decided to take part in this election and it won 6% of the popular vote and 5 seats in the Federal Assembly.[26]: 1724 [28] DS then joined the government led by Milan Panić, then-incumbent prime minister of FR Yugoslavia.[18] Simultaneously in December 1992, general elections were organised in Serbia as a result of a early elections referendum that was held in October 1992.[23]: 84  DS opposed this referendum, although it did take part in the election, in which it won 6 seats.[23]: 85–89 [29] In the presidential election however, DS supported Panić, who placed second, only behind Slobodan Milošević, the leader of SPS.[23]: 89–90 [30]

In 1993, Đinđić asserted himself in the DS and he operationally led the party into the 1993 parliamentary election.[10][14][31] Milošević disintegrated his coalition with the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in mid-1993 and turned towards DS for negotiations instead.[32] Mićunović claimed that a meeting between Milošević and DS did occur, although Zoran Živković denies this.[8][32] Đinđić invited several entrepreneurs to join DS during this period, which led DS to earn the "yellow company" nickname.[8][18] Shortly before the 1993 election, DS agreed that Đinđić should be their ballot representative.[18] He led DS under the "Honestly" banner and visited over 100 locations in Serbia during the campaign period; Đinđić also said that he would retire from politics if DS wins less than 20 seats.[14][33] The campaign proved to be successful as DS won 29 seats in the National Assembly.[33][34] DS remained in opposition after the election, despite the consideration that Đinđić would bring DS into the SPS-led government.[31][33][35]

1994–2000

Zoran Đinđić led DS into several opposition coalitions before winning the 2000 elections under the DOS coalition
Zoran Đinđić led DS into several opposition coalitions before winning the 2000 elections under the DOS coalition

At a congress on 25 January 1994, Đinđić was elected president, while Perišić and Miroljub Labus were elected vice presidents of the party.[19] Mićunović and Vida Ognjenović resigned from all positions within DS during the January 1994 congress.[8][19] Đinđić commented that "Mićunović's time has passed... Mićunović is no Tina Turner who sounds better now than when she was 30".[36] Mićunović characterized the manner of Đinđić's takeover of DS as the "combination of Machiavellianism and a revolutionary technique".[37] During this period, Đinđić also benefited from discreet support in the Milošević-controlled state-run media.[36] While some disliked how the transfer of power was executed, Đogo stated that he had found benefits in Đinđić's more agile approach.[10] After Đinđić became the president of DS, the party moved from its "intellectualistic" approach that was present under Mićunović and instead re-organised itself to have a more modern and efficient organisational structure.[38] Following the congress, entrepreneurs Slobodan Radulović and Radoje Đukić, who joined DS in 1993, were expelled from the party after they accepted the offer to serve in Mirko Marjanović's government.[18] A year later, Živković and Slobodan Gavrilović were also appointed vice-presidents of DS.[19] In the same year, Gavrilović proposed DSS to reunite with DS, although this proposal was rejected by DS.[20]: 255 

In December 1995, Mićunović left DS and formed the Democratic Centre (DC) in 1996.[8] Together with SPO and the Civic Alliance of Serbia (GSS), DS united to form the Together coalition in September 1996 in order to take part in the federal parliamentary election and the Serbian local elections, which were organised for November 1996.[26]: 1715 [39][40] DSS also took part in the coalition, although only on federal level.[20]: 285  Together won 23% of the popular vote in the federal parliamentary elections, while it also won local elections in key cities such as Belgrade, Niš, and Novi Sad.[20]: 286–287 [23]: 72  However, the local election results were invalidated by the Electoral Commission, which ultimately led to mass protests which were attended by hundreds of thousands.[23]: 79 [41] The aftermath of the protests resulted into Đinđić and Živković becoming mayors of Belgrade and Niš respectively after the Electoral Commission recognized the results.[41] Đinđić, however, was met with a motion of no confidence in September 1997, after which he was removed from office.[23]: 125 

In May 1997, Perišić, Živković, Gavrilović, and Slobodan Vuksanović were elected vice-presidents of DS.[19] The Together coalition was also dissolved shortly before the 1997 general elections.[42] DS, DSS, and GSS opted to boycott the election, while SPO did not.[42][43] Čedomir Jovanović and Čedomir Antić, who led the Student Political Club during the 1996–1997 protests, also joined DS in 1998.[44][45] In the same year, DS became part of the Alliance for Change, a moderate opposition coalition.[23]: 233 [46] This coalition later became part of a wider alliance, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), which was formed in January 2000.[23]: 234 [46] Đinđić faced Vukasnović at a party congress in February 2000, with Đinđić ultimately retaining the position of the president of the party.[8][19] Živković and Gavrilović remained vice-presidents of DS, while they were also joined by Predrag Filipov and Boris Tadić.[19] Vuksanović later left DS in October 2000 and formed the People's Democratic Party in 2001.[8] Milošević, now president of FR Yugoslavia, amended the federal constitution in order for the 2000 general elections to be organised as a direct election, instead of an indirect one.[46] DOS nominated Koštunica as their presidential candidate.[47] Koštunica faced Milošević in the presidential election, which he won in the first round.[23]: 245 [48] However, Milošević declined to accept the results and the Electoral Commission reported that Koštunica did not win more than 50% of the votes in the first round and that a second round would be scheduled instead.[46][47] This culminated into mass protests, which led to the overthrow of Milošević on 5 October 2000.[46] The Electoral Commission published actual results two days later which confirmed that Koštunica won in the first round.[49] Together with SPS and SPO, DOS agreed to organise a snap parliamentary election in Serbia in December 2000, in which DOS then won 176 out of 250 seats in the National Assembly.[23]: 271 [46]

2001–2004

After the assassination of Zoran Đinđić, Boris Tadić was elected president of DS and president of Serbia in 2004
After the assassination of Zoran Đinđić, Boris Tadić was elected president of DS and president of Serbia in 2004

In January 2001, Đinđić was elected prime minister of Serbia; his cabinet was composed of 16 ministers.[50][51][52] Following the extradition of Milošević to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in June 2001, DSS left his cabinet.[52][53] Later in October 2001, Tadić and Živković retained their positions as vice-presidents of DS, while Jovanović and Gordana Čomić joined them.[19] Additionally, DS adopted its new program, which marked the beginning of the party's programme shift towards the left.[19] DS nominated Labus, now heading his own citizens' group, in the presidential election that was organised for September 2002.[54]: 81  The election proceeded to a second round, in which Labus placed second, although considering that less than 50% of the registered voters turned out to vote, the election was invalidated and another one was organised for December 2002.[54]: 24 [55] Labus subsequently became the president of G17 Plus (G17+), a think tank that he registered as a political party.[8][56] In the December 2002 election, DS initially stated that it could support Koštunica, although DSS eventually declined their support.[57]: 21  The December 2002 presidential election was also invalidated as less than 50% of the registered voters did not turn out to vote, and another presidential election was organised for November 2003.[58]

Đinđić, who was opposed to organised crime, escaped an assassination attempt in February 2003,[59] although a month later, on 12 March 2003, Zvezdan Jovanović, a member of the Zemun Clan, assassinated him while exiting a vehicle in front of the building of the government of Serbia.[60][61][62] Živković succeeded him as prime minister of Serbia and as the acting president of the Democratic Party.[19][63] In the 2003 presidential election, DS, as part of the DOS coalition, supported Mićunović.[64] He placed second, although considering that the turnout was only 38%, the election was again invalidated.[64][65]: 90  During his premiership, Živković lost the confidence from the Social Democratic Party, after which he announced that he would not reshuffle his cabinet but call a snap parliamentary election instead, with the confirmation from Nataša Mićić, the president of the National Assembly, that it would be held in December 2003.[56][66]: 12  DOS ceased to exist at this point of time, while DS nominated Tadić to represent its list in the election instead.[56] In this parliamentary election, DS took part on a joint ballot list with DSS, DC, Social Democratic Union (SDU), and List for Sandžak (LZS).[66]: 19  The DS list won 37 seats, 22 out of which went to DS alone, in the National Assembly, although DS remained in opposition.[56][66]: 19 

At the party congress in February 2004, Tadić and Živković nominated themselves as candidates for the presidency, with the former ultimately becoming the president on 22 February 2004.[19] Gavrilović, Bojan Pajtić, Nenad Bogdanović, and Dušan Petrović were also elected vice-presidents of DS, while Mićunović merged his party and returned to DS after Tadić's election as president of DS.[8][19] Additionally, Otpor, an organisation which played a key role in the overthrow of Milošević, merged into DS during 2004.[8][67] The National Assembly adopted the changes to the Law on the Election of the President of the Republic in February 2004 which abolished the 50% turnout previously needed for presidential elections to be considered legitimate.[68] DS then nominated Tadić as their presidential candidate in the election which was organised for June 2004.[69]: 5 [70] Tadić placed second in the first round, although in the second round, he came on top with 53% of the popular vote, defeating Tomislav Nikolić who was nominated by SRS.[68] Later in December 2004, Tadić expelled Jovanović from the party due to breaching party protocol; Jovanović formed the Liberal Democratic Party a year later.[8]

2005–2012

Tadić led DS into a coalition government with SPS in 2008 but was sent into opposition after the 2012 elections
Tadić led DS into a coalition government with SPS in 2008 but was sent into opposition after the 2012 elections

During Tadić's first term as president of Serbia, he apologized to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia for Serbia's role during the Yugoslav Wars and pursued pro-Western foreign policy.[71][72][73] He was re-elected unopposed at the party's congress in 2006.[19] In late 2006, G17+ withdrew from Koštunica's government, which led Tadić to schedule a snap parliamentary election for January 2007.[74][75]: 23  DS chose Ružica Đinđić, the spouse of Zoran Đinđić, as their ballot representative, while DS campaigned on continuing Đinđić's legacy as well as fighting against corruption.[74] DS also promised to not form a coalition government with SPS or SRS.[76] In this election, DS won over 900,000 votes.[77] DS negotiated with DSS and G17+ after the election and the government was formed in May 2007, with Koštunica remaining as prime minister while Božidar Đelić of DS was appointed deputy prime minister in his cabinet.[74] In December 2007, Oliver Dulić, the president of the National Assembly of Serbia, announced that he scheduled presidential elections to be held in January 2008.[78] DS then nominated Tadić for re-election.[79]: 46  He again faced Nikolić in the second round of the election and was successfully re-elected.[79]: 19 [80]

Shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia.[81] This, as well as the issue regarding European integrations, resulted in a political crisis between DS and G17+ on one side and DSS on the other.[82] Koštunica stated that "he could no longer rule in a coalition with DS" which led Tadić to call snap parliamentary elections for May 2008.[83][84] In this election, DS formed the For a European Serbia coalition, which was composed of DS, G17+, SDP, SPO, Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV), and League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV).[85]: 45  This coalition nominated Mićunović as their ballot representative and campaigned on continuing negotiations regarding the accession of Serbia to the European Union.[82] ZES placed first, winning 102 seats in the National Assembly; DS won 64 seats out of those 102.[85]: 142 [86] After the election, DS was excluded from government formation talks, although in June 2008 it offered SPS to form a coalition government.[85]: 153–154  DS and SPS agreed to continue the accession of Serbia to the European Union, work on fighting against crime and corruption, and enacting social justice.[85]: 154  The new government was elected in July 2008, with Mirko Cvetković, an independent politician affiliated with DS,[87] serving as prime minister and Ivica Dačić, the leader of SPS, serving as deputy prime minister.[82]

DS and SPS formalized their cooperation after the election by signing a reconciliation agreement, although disagreements between the two parties had continue to occur.[88] The DS-led government was faced with the arrest of Radovan Karadžić, the Kosovo declaration of independence, and the global financial crisis, which led to low rates of economic growth.[88][89]: 11–13  The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), now led by Nikolić, also organised mass protests in 2011, demanding Tadić to call snap elections.[90] Tadić later agreed to this and in March 2012 he called parliamentary elections for May 2012.[91][92] A month later however, Tadić also announced his resignation as president in order for presidential elections to be held on the same day as the parliamentary election.[93] DS led the Choice for a Better Life (IZBŽ) coalition which also included DSHV, LSV, Social Democratic Party of Serbia (SDPS), Greens of Serbia (ZS), and Christian Democratic Party of Serbia (DHSS).[88][94] Dragan Đilas, the deputy president of DS and mayor of Belgrade, was chosen as their ballot representative, while DS campaigned on recovering the economy by emphasizing on attracting foreign investments as well as developing small businesses.[88] IZBŽ placed second and in comparison with the previous election, this coalition only won 67 seats, 49 out of which went to DS alone.[89]: 34 [95] In the presidential election however, Tadić placed first, though the election proceeded to a second round in which he lost to Nikolić.[89]: 22 [96]

Following the 2012 parliamentary election, SPS successfully formed a government with SNS instead, after which DS went into opposition.[88][97] Đilas, who was re-elected as mayor of Belgrade, was positioned as a prominent candidate to succeed Tadić as president of DS.[98][99] A extraordinary party congress was called for 25 November 2012, with Đilas and Branimir Kuzmanović being the only candidates to succeed Tadić as president of DS.[100] Đilas was elected president in a landslide, while Tadić was approved to hold the title of a honorary president.[101][102] Additionally, Pajtić was re-elected as vice-president and he was joined by Nataša Vučković, Vesna Martinović, Dejan Nikolić, Miodrag Rakić, Goran Ćirić, and Jovan Marković.[103] The compromise between Đilas and Tadić for the latter to become a honorary president of the party received criticism from Živković, who subsequently left DS.[104][105] After leaving DS, Živković announced the formation of his political party, which was formalized in April 2013 under the name New Party (Nova).[104][106] After becoming the president of DS, Đilas ordered former government ministers to resign as members of the National Assembly.[107] This order received support from Tadić, but was criticized by Mićunović and Dušan Petrović, the former minister of agriculture, who refused to resign.[107][108]

2013–2017

Petrović was expelled from DS in January 2013.[109] He subsequently formed a parliamentary group named Together for Serbia (ZZS), which was later registered as a political party.[110][111] Alongside Petrović, Vuk Jeremić, the former minister of foreign affairs, was expelled in February 2013.[112] Jeremić claimed that the party's decision was unconstitutional and he filed a suit at the Constitutional Court.[113] His appeal was rejected, after which Jeremić complied with the decision and left DS, although he kept his seat in the National Assembly.[114] By this point, DS dropped to 13% of support amongst the public, while SNS received over 40%.[115] Later in September 2013, Đilas faced a motion of no confidence that was submitted by SNS in which he was successfully dismissed.[116][117] SNS cited poor results of DS and that "DS lost legitimacy" as their reasons while Đilas stated that "this is the beginning of a dictatorship and a one-party system".[118] After this, local boards of DS called for Đilas to resign as president of DS, while the conflict between Đilas and Tadić became more evident.[119] This resulted into an internal motion of no confidence within the main board of DS, which Đilas survived.[120][121] Đilas and Pajtić also suggested that a extraordinary congress should take place after the Belgrade City Assembly election which was scheduled for March 2014.[121] Tadić left DS on 30 January 2014, citing his disagreement with the leadership.[122][123] Shortly after, Tadić announced that he would began collecting signatures to register his new party, New Democratic Party,[124] which was later renamed to Social Democratic Party,[125] in order to participate in the snap parliamentary election which was scheduled to be held on the same day as the Belgrade City Assembly election.[126]

DS announced that it would take part in the 2014 parliamentary election with Nova, DSHV, Rich Serbia, and United Trade Unions of Serbia "Sloga", as part of the "With the Democratic Party for a Democratic Serbia" coalition.[127][128] This coalition only won 19 seats in the National Assembly, 17 out of which went to DS while Nova won 2 seats.[129][130] In the Belgrade City Assembly election, the DS coalition won 22 seats.[131] After the elections, a extraordinary congress was organised on 31 May 2014 as previously proposed.[132][133] Pajtić faced Đilas and was successfully elected as president of DS, while Čomić, Borko Stefanović, Goran Ješić, Maja Videnović, and Nataša Vučković were elected vice-presidents of DS.[134][135] Đilas subsequently resigned from his position as a member of the National Assembly, while he left DS in June 2016.[136][137] Stefanović left DS in December 2015, citing ideological differences, and then formed the Serbian Left (LS).[136][138] In March 2016, Nikolić called for snap parliamentary elections to be held in April 2016.[139] DS then formed the "For a Just Serbia" coalition with Nova, ZZS, DSHV, and Together for Šumadija.[136][140] This coalition won 16 seats in the National Assembly, 12 of which were occupied by DS.[141]: 10 [142] After the election, a party congress was organised for 24 September 2016.[143] Pajtić faced Dragan Šutanovac, Zoran Lutovac, and Srboljub Antić in the leadership election.[144] He ultimately lost to Šutanovac in the first round, while Marković, Branislav Lečić, Nada Kolundžija, Goran Salak, and Tamara Tripić were elected vice-presidents of DS.[145][146]

Later in January 2017, Šutanovac announced that DS would support Saša Janković in the 2017 presidential election instead of filing its own candidate.[147][148] DS also called for others to rally around Janković as a joint opposition candidate.[149] During the campaign, Janković used the infrastructure of DS in order to position himself as the leader of the opposition.[141]: 12  He placed second behind Aleksandar Vučić of SNS, winning 16% of the popular vote.[150] After the election, Janković stopped cooperating with DS and then formed the Movement of Free Citizens (PSG) in May 2017.[141]: 93 [151] In preparation for the 2018 Belgrade City Assembly election, DS advocated for the opposition to participate on a joint list.[152] By the end of 2017, DS announced that it would take part in a coalition with Nova, with Šutanovac as the mayoral candidate.[153]

2018–present

Zoran Lutovac has been the president of DS since 2018
Zoran Lutovac has been the president of DS since 2018

DS and Nova were also joined by Tadić's SDS in January 2018, while the Green Ecological Party – The Greens also appeared on the ballot list.[154][155] However, this coalition was defeated in this election as it only won 2% of the popular vote.[156][157] This led to the resignation of Balša Božović, the president of the DS main board in Belgrade, and Šutanovac.[158][159] DS later announced that a party congress would be organized for 2 June 2018.[160] The leadership election was contested by Lečić, Lutovac, and Čomić.[161] Lutovac ultimately won the election, while Nikolić, Aleksandra Jerkov, Dragana Rakić, Dragoslav Šumarac, and Saša Paunović were elected vice presidents.[162][163] Lutovac announced that DS "must organize itself" and that DS would cooperate with the Alliance for Serbia (SzS), then a group in the City Assembly of Belgrade led by Đilas.[162][164] However, SzS was re-organised into a nation-wide coalition in September 2022, which besides DS also included ZZS, Sloga, LS, Jeremić's People's Party (Narodna), Movement for Reversal (PZP), and Healthy Serbia.[165][166] Internally inside DS, founding members Mićunović and Ognjenović, as well as, Čomić and Šutanovac were opposed to joining SzS.[167] After the attack on the leader of LS in November 2018, SzS organized mass anti-government protests.[168][169] In January 2019, DS announced that it would boycott the sessions of the National Assembly, City Assembly of Belgrade, and the Assembly of Vojvodina, claiming that the bodies do not have legitimacy due to the obstruction of the government over the opposition by allegedly violating the rules of the Parliament, laws, and the Constitution.[170][171] DS also signed the "Agreement with the People", which stated that if fair and free conditions are not met, it would boycott the 2020 parliamentary election.[172]

Lutovac and Tadić began discussing about merging their parties to become "the main option for civic-democratic voters that will be able to integrate voters that are against Vučić" in February 2019.[173][174] This decision was approved by both DS and SDS, while ZZS, now led by Nebojša Zelenović, also joined the talks.[175][176][177] This merger was formalized as a union in May 2019 under the name "United Democratic Party".[178] However, parties were supposed to officially merge once "the COVID-19 pandemic ends".[179] During this period, SDS left the process, while Tadić later claimed that Lutovac allegedly put the end to the merger.[180][181] As part of SzS, DS announced that it would boycott the 2020 parliamentary election in September 2019.[182][183] The decision to boycott the election however received criticism from some members, such as Mićunović and Šutanovac, who stated that "some DS officials would form citizens' groups in order to participate in the election".[184][185][186] During the session of the party's main board in November 2019, Lečić, Jerkov, Božović, Radoslav Milojičić, and Slobodan Milosavljević all left in order to attempt to bring down the quorum, and therefore call a new leadership election.[187][188] Lutovac described it as a coup d'état and claimed that "Vučić is trying to break up DS".[188][189] He also later claimed that a group inside DS is trying to turn DS to cooperate with Vučić.[190] After attending a session in the National Assembly in February 2020, Čomić was expelled from DS.[191] She was later featured on United Democratic Serbia's ballot list and became a minister in the government of Serbia.[192][193] DS was initially supposed to hold a congress in March 2020 however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was postponed to 21 June 2020, when the parliamentary election was also scheduled to be held.[194][195] During the party congress, a group of DS members left the congress in order to schedule an alternate leadership election.[196] The congress continued on 28 June 2020; the dissatisfied group held the congress in Belgrade with the presence of Tadić, while Lutovac held the congress in Šabac.[197] Lutovac then expelled Lečić, Božović, Milojičić, and Milosavljević from DS.[198] The dissatisfied group then chose Lečić as the president, although the government of Serbia later concluded that Lutovac remains as the legitimate president of DS.[199][200] Lečić then formed the Democrats of Serbia which later merged into Tadić's SDS.[201][202]

During the period of the conflict between the two factions inside DS, SzS was dissolved and succeeded by the United Opposition of Serbia (UOPS).[203][204] However, UOPS was dissolved by January 2021, as disputes between Narodna and Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP), the party led by Đilas, continued to exist.[205][206] Paunović, who left DS in order to take part with his citizens' group in a local election in 2020, was allowed to join back in April 2021.[207][208] DS then organized a congress on 4 July 2021; Lutovac was re-elected president and Rakić was re-elected deputy president of DS, while Tatjana Manojlović, Nenad Mitrović, Miodrag Gavrilović, and Branimir Jovančićević were elected vice presidents of DS.[209] After the congress, DS, Narodna, SSP, and PSG announced their cooperation for the 2022 Serbian general election.[210][211] This cooperation was formalized in February 2022 under the name United for the Victory of Serbia (UZPS); they nominated Zdravko Ponoš of Narodna as their presidential candidate.[212][213] UZPS won 14% of the popular vote in the parliamentary election; DS won 10 seats.[214][215] Ponoš also placed second in the presidential election.[216] After the election, UZPS was dissolved, with Lutovac stating that "it was only a pre-election coalition".[217][218] Shortly before the first constitutive session of the National Assembly on 1 August 2022, Narodna, DS, Do not let Belgrade drown and Together proposed Lutovac as the vice presidential candidate for the National Assembly.[219] He was successfully elected on 2 August 2022.[220] The Movement of Free Serbia, which was apart of the UZPS coalition, merged into DS in September 2022.[221]

Discover more about History related topics

Democratic Party (Yugoslavia)

Democratic Party (Yugoslavia)

The Yugoslav Democratic Party, State Party of Serbian, Croatian and Slovene Democrats and Democratic Party, also known as the Democratic Union was the name of a series of liberal political parties that existed in succession in the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state in Southeast and Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1941. From 1918 to 1929, it was officially called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, but the term "Yugoslavia" was its colloquial name due to its origins. The official name of the state was changed to "Kingdom of Yugoslavia" by King Alexander I on 3 October 1929.

Kosta Čavoški

Kosta Čavoški

Kosta Čavoški is a professor at the University of Belgrade's Law School. He is an outspoken critic of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Milovan Danojlić

Milovan Danojlić

Milovan Danojlić was a Serbian poet, essayist and literary critic best known for his children's poetry. Danojlić was a full member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts.

Gojko Đogo

Gojko Đogo

Gojko Đogo is a Serb poet.

Dragoljub Mićunović

Dragoljub Mićunović

Dragoljub Mićunović is a Serbian politician and philosopher. As one of the founders of the Democratic Party, he served as its leader from 1990 to 1994, and as the president of the parliament of Serbia and Montenegro from 2000 to 2004.

Borislav Pekić

Borislav Pekić

Borislav Pekić was a Serbian and Yugoslav writer and political activist.

Miodrag Perišić

Miodrag Perišić

Miodrag Perišić was a Serbian writer, literary critic and politician.

Dušan Vukajlović

Dušan Vukajlović

Dušan Vukajlović was a well-known Serbian poet who was a member of the Founding Committee of the Democratic Party in Serbia, Yugoslavia in December 1989. The Democratic Party was the first non-communist opposition party in Serbia since 1945.

One-party state

One-party state

A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state in which only one political party has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution. All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in elections. Sometimes the term "de facto one-party state" is used to describe a dominant-party system that, unlike the one-party state, allows democratic multiparty elections, but the existing practices or balance of political power effectively prevent the opposition from winning power.

Multi-party system

Multi-party system

In political science, a multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition. Apart from one-party-dominant and two-party systems, multi-party systems tend to be more common in parliamentary systems than presidential systems and far more common in countries that use proportional representation compared to countries that use first-past-the-post elections. Several parties compete for power and all of them have reasonable chance of forming government.

Belgrade Youth Center

Belgrade Youth Center

Belgrade Youth Center is a cultural center in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, dedicated primarily to youth.

Political positions

Early period

DS was a catch-all party during its early period and it was composed of ideologically heterogeneous groups.[222]: 59–61 [223]: 80  It included the founders of the Praxis School, Mićunović and Đinđić; Đinđić was noted as a liberal, while Čavoški, Koštunica, and Milošević argued to adopt a stronger anti-communist position inside DS.[222]: 60  DS was also divided regarding national issues, with individuals such as Gligorov and Inić, who believed that national issues should be solved within a common Yugoslav state, while Đogo favored a Greater Serbian policy.[222]: 60  Despite this, DS wanted to adopt "civic and centrist identity", while in its "letter of intent" in December 1989, it stated its support for the establishment of a democratic and multi-party system.[222]: 59  DS also supported mixed economy, although with a strong role for the market, and wanted to integrate Serbia into the European Community.[222]: 59 [223]: 80  Regarding Yugoslavia, DS supported federalisation and opted to create a pluralistic democratic order to guarantee human security and freedom in order to decrease ethnic conflicts.[222]: 59 

Under Đinđić, DS shifted to a more pragmatic and flexible approaches and principles.[223]: 91 

Since then, the party has been described as either centrist[224] or centre-left,[225][226][227][228] social-liberal and social-democratic.[229][230][231][232] It supports accession of Serbia to the European Union.[233]

Discover more about Political positions related topics

Praxis School

Praxis School

The Praxis school was a Marxist humanist philosophical cycle, whose members were influenced by Western Marxism. It originated in Zagreb in the SFR Yugoslavia, during the 1960s.

Liberalism

Liberalism

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law. Liberals espouse various views depending on their understanding of these principles. However, they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights, liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. Liberalism is frequently cited as the dominant ideology of modern times.

Mixed economy

Mixed economy

A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system blending elements of a market economy with elements of a planned economy, markets with state interventionism, or private enterprise with public enterprise. Common to all mixed economies is a combination of free-market principles and principles of socialism. While there is no single definition of a mixed economy, one definition is about a mixture of markets with state interventionism, referring specifically to a capitalist market economy with strong regulatory oversight and extensive interventions into markets. Another is that of active collaboration of capitalist and socialist visions. Yet another definition is apolitical in nature, strictly referring to an economy containing a mixture of private enterprise with public enterprise. Alternatively, a mixed economy can refer to a reformist transitionary phase to a socialist economy that allows a substantial role for private enterprise and contracting within a dominant economic framework of public ownership. This can extend to a Soviet-type planned economy that has been reformed to incorporate a greater role for markets in the allocation of factors of production.

Market economy

Market economy

A market economy is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production and distribution to the consumers are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. The major characteristic of a market economy is the existence of factor markets that play a dominant role in the allocation of capital and the factors of production.

Centre-left politics

Centre-left politics

Centre-left politics lean to the left on the left–right political spectrum but are closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left emphasizes that the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the person in their abilities or talents.

Accession of Serbia to the European Union

Accession of Serbia to the European Union

The accession of Serbia to the European Union (EU) has been on the current agenda for the future enlargement of the EU since 2012, when it became a candidate for accession. Serbia officially applied for European Union membership on 22 December 2009. Accession negotiations are currently ongoing. Serbia is expected to complete its negotiations by the end of 2024, allowing it to join the European Union by 2025.

Organisation

List of presidents

# President Birth–Death Term start Term end
1 Dragoljub Mićunović Dragoljub Mićunović in the National Assembly 1930– 3 February 1990 25 January 1994
2 Zoran Đinđić A cropped image of Zoran Đinđić with Bill Gates 1952–2003 25 January 1994 12 March 2003
(assassinated)
Zoran Živković
(acting)
An image of Zoran Živković at Medija centar 1960– 12 March 2003 22 February 2004
3 Boris Tadić An image of Boris Tadić in 2010 1958– 22 February 2004 25 November 2012
4 Dragan Đilas An image of Dragan Đilas in 2013 1967– 25 November 2012 31 May 2014
5 Bojan Pajtić An image of Bojan Pajtić 1970– 31 May 2014 24 September 2016
6 Dragan Šutanovac An image of Dragan Šutanovac in 2016 1968– 24 September 2016 2 June 2018
7 Zoran Lutovac An image of Zoran Lutovac in 2020 1964– 2 June 2018 Incumbent

Discover more about Organisation related topics

Dragoljub Mićunović

Dragoljub Mićunović

Dragoljub Mićunović is a Serbian politician and philosopher. As one of the founders of the Democratic Party, he served as its leader from 1990 to 1994, and as the president of the parliament of Serbia and Montenegro from 2000 to 2004.

Zoran Đinđić

Zoran Đinđić

Zoran Đinđić was a Serbian politician who served as the prime minister of Serbia from 2001 until his assassination in 2003. He was the mayor of Belgrade in 1997. Đinđić was a long-time opposition politician, and held a doctorate in philosophy.

Zoran Živković (politician)

Zoran Živković (politician)

Zoran Živković is a Serbian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Serbia from 2003 to 2004 and as the Mayor of Niš from 1997 to 2000.

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić is a Serbian politician who served as the president of Serbia from 2004 to 2012.

Dragan Đilas

Dragan Đilas

Dragan Đilas is a Serbian businessman and politician who served as the mayor of Belgrade from 2008 to 2013.

Bojan Pajtić

Bojan Pajtić

Bojan Pajtić is a Serbian politician who served as the President of the Government of Vojvodina from 2004 to 2016.

Dragan Šutanovac

Dragan Šutanovac

Dragan Šutanovac is a Serbian politician, former leader of the Democratic Party and former Minister of Defence in the Government of Serbia.

Zoran Lutovac

Zoran Lutovac

Zoran Lutovac is Serbian politician and former diplomat who has been the president of the Democratic Party since 2018. A former ambassador of Serbia to Montenegro between 2008 and 2013, he has been one of the vice-presidents of the National Assembly of Serbia since 2022.

Electoral performance

Parliamentary elections

National Assembly of Serbia
Year Leader Popular vote % of popular vote # # of seats Seat change Coalition Status Ref.
1990 Dragoljub Mićunović 374,887 7.78% Increase 3rd
7 / 250
Increase 7 Opposition [234]
1992 196,347 4.42% Decrease 4th
6 / 250
Decrease 1 Opposition [235]
1993 Zoran Đinđić 497,582 12.06% Steady 4th
29 / 250
Increase 23 Opposition [236]
1997 Election boycott
0 / 250
Decrease 29 Extra-parliamentary [237]
2000 2,402,387 65.69% Increase 1st
45 / 250
Increase 45 DOS Government [238]
2003 Boris Tadić 481,249 12.75% Decrease 3rd
22 / 250
Decrease 23 DS–GSSSDULZS Opposition [239]
2007 915,854 23.08% Increase 2nd
60 / 250
Increase 38 DS–SDPDSHV Government [240]
2008 1,590,200 39.25% Increase 1st
64 / 250
Increase 4 ZES Government [241]
2012 863,294 23.09% Decrease 2nd
49 / 250
Decrease 15 IZBŽ Opposition [242]
2014 Dragan Đilas 216,634 6.23% Decrease 3rd
17 / 250
Decrease 32 DS–DSHV–NovaBS Opposition [243]
2016 Bojan Pajtić 227,589 6.20% Decrease 5th
12 / 250
Decrease 5 DS–Nova–DSHV–ZZSZZŠ Opposition [244]
2020 Zoran Lutovac Election boycott
0 / 250
Decrease 15 SzS Extra-parliamentary [245]
2022 520,469 14.09% Increase 2nd
10 / 250
Increase 10 UZPS Opposition [246]

Presidential elections

President of Serbia
Year Candidate 1st round popular vote % of popular vote 2nd round popular vote % of popular vote Notes Ref.
1990 Did not participate
1992 Milan Panić 2nd 1,516,693 34.65% Supported Panić [247]
Sep 1997 Election boycott Election annulled due to low turnout
Dec 1997 Election boycott
Sep–Oct 2002 Miroljub Labus 2nd 995,200 27.96% 2nd 921,094 31.62% Supported Labus; election annulled due to low turnout [248]
Dec 2002 Did not participate Election annulled due to low turnout
2003 Dragoljub Mićunović 2nd 893,906 36.67% Election annulled due to low turnout [249]
2004 Boris Tadić 2nd 853,584 27.70% 1st 1,681,528 53.97% [250]
2008 2nd 1,457,030 36.08% 1st 2,304,467 51.19% [251]
2012 1st 989,454 26.50% 2nd 1,481,952 48.84% [242]
2017 Saša Janković 2nd 507,728 16.63% Supported Janković [252]
2022 Zdravko Ponoš 2nd 698,538 18.84% Supported Ponoš [253]

Federal parliamentary elections

Year Leader Popular vote % of popular vote # # of seats Seat change Coalition Status Notes Ref.
May 1992 Dragoljub Mićunović Election boycott
0 / 136
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
1992–1993 280,183 6.32% Increase 4th
5 / 138
Increase 5 Opposition [23]: 213 
1996 Zoran Đinđić 969,296 23.77% Increase 2nd
22 / 138
Increase 17 Together Opposition Coalition Together won 22 seats in total [23]: 214 
2000 2,040,646 43.86% Increase 1st
58 / 138
Increase 36 DOS Government DOS won 58 seats in total [23]: 269 
2,092,799 46.23% Increase 1st
10 / 40
Increase 10 DOS Government DOS won 10 seats in total [23]: 270 

Federal presidential elections

President of FR Yugoslavia
Year Candidate 1st round popular vote % of popular vote 2nd round popular vote % of popular vote Notes Ref.
2000 Vojislav Koštunica 1st 2,470,304 51.71% Supported Koštunica [23]: 269 

Discover more about Electoral performance related topics

1990 Serbian general election

1990 Serbian general election

General elections were held in the Socialist Republic of Serbia, a constituent federal unit of SFR Yugoslavia, in December 1990. The presidential elections and the first round of the parliamentary elections were held on 9 December, whilst a second round of the parliamentary elections was held on 23 December 1990. This was the last parliamentary election in Serbia where members were elected in single-member constituency seats; all subsequent elections have taken place under proportional representation.

1992 Serbian general election

1992 Serbian general election

General elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on 20 December 1992. The vote was held only two years after the previous election, and as a result of a referendum which approved holding early elections.

1993 Serbian parliamentary election

1993 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on 19 December 1993. The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly, winning 123 of the 250 seats. Following the elections, the SPS formed a government with New Democracy, which had run as part of the Democratic Movement of Serbia coalition.

1997 Serbian general election

1997 Serbian general election

General elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on 21 September 1997 to elect the President and National Assembly. With no presidential candidate receiving over 50% of the vote in the first round, a second round was held on 5 October. Running on a platform of Serbian nationalism and neoliberal economic reforms, Vojislav Šešelj of the Serbian Radical Party received the most votes. However voter turnout was only 48%, below the required 50%. As a result, the elections were annulled, and fresh elections were scheduled for December.

2000 Serbian parliamentary election

2000 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Serbia on 23 December 2000. They were the first free parliamentary elections after the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević. The result was a victory for the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, which won 176 of the 250 seats in the National Assembly.

2003 Serbian parliamentary election

2003 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 28 December 2003 to elect members of the National Assembly.

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić

Boris Tadić is a Serbian politician who served as the president of Serbia from 2004 to 2012.

Civic Alliance of Serbia

Civic Alliance of Serbia

The Civic Alliance of Serbia was a liberal political party in Serbia.

2007 Serbian parliamentary election

2007 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 21 January 2007 to elect members of the National Assembly. The first session of the new National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia was held on 14 February 2007. The elections enabled the coalition of DS; DSS & G17+ to continue.

Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina

Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina

The Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina is a political party in Serbia representing the Croat ethnic minority in the province of Vojvodina.

2008 Serbian parliamentary election

2008 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 11 May 2008 to elect members of the National Assembly. The election was held barely a year after the previous parliamentary election. There were 6,749,886 eligible electors who were able to vote in 8,682 voting places, as well as 157 special voting stations for refugees from Kosovo.

2012 Serbian parliamentary election

2012 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 6 May 2012 to elect members of the National Assembly, and were held simultaneously with provincial, local, and presidential elections.

Source: "Democratic Party (Serbia)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 27th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(Serbia).

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