Dynamics of Structure of National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia 1991-1993 Cover Image

Структурна динамика Народне скупштине Републике Србије 1991-1993. Године
Dynamics of Structure of National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia 1991-1993

Author(s): Milan Jovanović
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Education, Government/Political systems, Electoral systems, Politics and society, Demography and human biology, Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Inter-Ethnic Relations
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: party system; social structure; political elite; nationality; gender; age and level of education of parliament members;

Summary/Abstract: The paper analyzes the changes in the party structure and the social structure of the first multiparty National Assembly. This paper represents a methodological framework in which a longitudinal study of structural dynamics of the Serbian parliament will be conducted, starting from the beginning of redemocratization to the present. The analysis of the party system and social structure is viewed in the context of changes in the political elite in Serbia over more than two decades. The first National Assembly in the period 1991- 1993 signaled tectonic changes in the party system and the structure of the political elites. Abolition of one party system helped the quick fragmentation into the multiparty scene in Serbia. Out of 53 political parties which were founded, 44 participated in the first multi-party elections. At the time, a total of 17 parties have passed through the National Assembly. Majority electoral system made it possible for the reformed communist elite to stay in power. The new political elites, whose programmes were based on anti- communism and the liberal model of democracy and economy were extremely underrepresented in the National Assembly. Sociodemographic characteristics of MPs (members of parliament) in the first term show a radical departure from the former delegate practice. People who worked in industry and administration, farmers and members of the communist nomenclature, who used to dominate the delegate parliaments, now disappeared from the parliamentary seats. Also, the numbers of younger and female representatives were now decimated. The ethnic composition of the first legislature hints the process of ethnic homogenisation: when asked about their nationality, 80% of the delegates declared themselves as Serbs, which did not match the structure of the population in which the Serbs comprised little more than 65 % of the population. The boycott of the elections of the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija was the main cause of a lesser representation of this ethnic minority. Hungarians and Muslims had the number of members that matched their share in the total population. The parliament was dominated by middle aged MPs (41- 50 years old) and the average age of the MPs was 45. The younger population was extremely underrepresented; they constituted only 2 % of the total number of deputies. The same is true for the members of the older age group (51-60 years old) who were represented by only 4.4% of MPs. The educational level of MPs was significantly above the population structure: 82% of members had college education, while 16 % held the highest academic degrees. The number of women was devastating. From 23% in the delegate parliament, their number fell to only 2%. Four women were in Socialist caucus. All this indicated the need for institutional intervention in the electoral system to ensure better representation of certain demographic groups.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 145-164
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian