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Yugoslavia: Reformers Reach Agreement With Socialist Party

Belgrade, 17 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - Pro-democracy reformers and allies of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic have agreed on a deal to share control of the Serbian government. The agreement was announced yesterday (Oct. 16) after more than a week of negotiations between Milosevic's Socialist Party and supporters of new President Vojislav Kostunica. Under the deal, an interim government will be formed in Serbia, Yugoslavia's dominant republic, until after early legislative elections scheduled for December 23.

The Socialists are to remain in control of the office of Serbian prime minister, but decisions must be made in consensus with two deputy prime ministers from two pro-democracy factions. The Serbian police, information, justice, and finance ministries will be shared among the Socialists and reformers.

Kostunica is due today to visit Montenegro, the smaller Yugoslav republic, for talks on the federal government. Under the constitution, the federal prime minister must be from Montenegro if the president is, like Kostunica, from Serbia.