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Serbian Government Proposes New Constitution

4 June 2004 -- The Serbian government today submitted a draft text for a new constitution aimed at replacing the existing one, which was adopted in 1990 by the regime of former strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica called it "a shame for Serbia" that it does not have a new four years after Milosevic's ouster in 2000.

The existing constitution is widely regarded as unclear on a number of issues, thus allowing potential abuses by autocratic rulers like Milosevic.

Kostunica told reporters that the constitution was like a "ticking bomb" allowing autocrats to wield excessive power.

He said the draft proposed by the government, which should be adopted by the parliament and the citizens through a referendum, "presents a break with the era of Slobodan Milosevic."