In connection with the elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
scheduled for 24 September 2000, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander
has issued today this important statement:
The elections are approaching. The Crown does not take part in the electoral campaign, but since it shares the nationís fate it is its duty to warn, to encourage and to advise. All the more so since the forthcoming elections have the characteristics of a referendum at which people will have to declare themselves either in favour of change or, failing that, allow the current regime to continue pursuing the policies which have led the country to disaster. This is the key question now facing the Serbian people and all other citizens of Yugoslavia. It is, therefore, the duty of all citizens to go to the polls in the greatest possible numbers and cast their vote for change. The regime must resolutely be told: No, we can no longer follow the old road!
This applies to all citizens irrespective of party affiliation. Even those who have so far voted for the pro-regime parties must understand that change is inevitable and their duty is to vote in favour of a new way of governing the country. It is necessary that people be united if further disasters are to be avoided and a better future secured. There will be no revenge and there cannot be any since the rule of law will established as a foundation of future changes. The rule of law has to replace the present chaos and lawlessness. What is essential is that all citizens now show they are united in their resistance to evil!
The united democratic opposition has its shortcomings but offers the only chance of a peaceful, non-violent transformation and of indispensable radical reforms not only of the regime but also the way the country is governed. Despite the regimeís manipulations which prevent the holding of genuinely free elections, people will have a chance to express their will and to show their opposition to the regimeís arbitrary rule. In spite of all difficulties, objective and subjective, the democratic opposition has achieved an enviable degree of unity and it is the duty of all citizens and patriots to give it full support in the forthcoming elections. It is a pity it is not yet fully united but personally I believe that full unity will come. The regime, which has built its power on the disunity of its opponents, must be faced at the elections with the unity of the whole nation.
It is also a pity that the ruling coalition in Montenegro has not joined the efforts of the united democratic opposition aimed at changing the regime in Belgrade. It would be logical if they worked together since the departure of the regime is in the interest of not only Serbia but also of Montenegro. The outcome of the elections will also have a bearing on the plight of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, on democracy and human rights as well as on the status of that Serbian province. All these are reasons why it is necessary to vote firmly against the current regime.
Dear countrymen. Turn the coming elections into an all-national referendum which will in a peaceful manner show the regime it does not enjoy the peopleís confidence! Go to the polls and vote for change, for a true democracy, the rule of law and economic prosperity. Only thus will Serbia and Yugoslavia be able to embark along the path of reconstruction and progress. Only thus will we become again respected members of the international community with all the rights and obligations that this membership entails. Only thus we will be able to secure lasting peace in the region and a better future for us and for our children.
London, 29 August 2000