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  • 23-24 September
    • Belgrade, Yugoslavia – At the 8th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia (League of Communists of Yugoslavia's Serbian branch), Slobodan Milošević (the President of the League of Communists of Serbia) lost a vote on expelling Dragiša Pavlović, the leader of the Belgrade Communist Party and an ally of Ivan Stambolić, the President of SR Serbia).
In the backdrop of rising ethnic tensions between the Albanian and Serb communities in the Serbian province of Kosovo, Stambolić had become increasingly critical of Milošević's nationalistic policy about dealing with Albanian unrest in Kosovo and his handling of a crowd in Kosovo, when he used the phrase "no one shall beat you again" that has since then become famous and also displayed open support for the Kosovo Serbs, against the party policy. Stambolić and his ally Pavlović, on the other hand, supported a plan of reaching a consensus through slow and patient negotiations with the Albanian leaders. This situation was worsened by Milošević's grudge against Pavlović, who highly disapproved of the Milošević camp and who had been appointed as the leader of the Belgrade Communist Party by Stambolić against the wishes of Milošević. Milošević's handling of the Kosovo situation split the Serbian Communist Party into two groups. Pro-Pavlović/Stambolić group favoured negotiations with the Albanian leaders while the pro-Milošević group demanded quick and rapid action to end the "Kosovo problem". Pavlović's thinly veiled critical comments accused Milošević of being an anti-Albanian Serb nationalist who's offering populist solutions to the Kosovo situation. Seeing the remarks as an attack, Milošević, together with his senior allies within the party, planned to expel Pavlović from the Communist Party. Pavlović, however, enjoyed the staunch support of Stambolić, and Pavlović's expulsion from the party would effectively mean toppling Stambolić. Stambolić refrained, however, from dispatching a letter asking the party's Belgrade branch to stay out of the Pavlović issue.
On 18 September the Presidency of the Serbian Communist Party met, where Stambolić tried hard to forge a compromise between the two groups. Instead Milošević turned against Stambolić by calling Pavlović a threat to "ideological unity".
On the day of the session, Milošević started by accusing Pavlović of being against the principles of the party and those of Yugoslavia and a threat to party unity. Stambolić replied by saying that Milošević was the one breaking unity. Members of the party were shocked over the intensity of Milošević' attacks, and subsequently voted down his and his supporters' vote on expelling Pavlović. Milošević, having no forces to outmanoeuvre Stambolić, was publicly humiliated and weakened; even his allies lost their influence, and he was obliged to resign from the post of President of the League of Communists of Serbia, which he did three weeks later. This ended his political career.

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1988

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See also


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