Advertisement

Yugoslavia prepares for major leadership reshuffle after Tit

By
NESHO DJURIC

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- In May and June Yugoslavia faces, for the first time in the post-Tito period, a major government and Communist party reshuffle which is expected to bring fresh blood to this non-aligned country's Communist leadership.

And the nine-man state presidency, a collective head of state that has been running Yugoslavia since the death of President Josip Broz Tito, May 8, 1980, has announced the country may get its first woman prime minister.

Advertisement

Mrs. Milka Planinc, 57, a veteran loyal to Tito's policies, has been chosen as candidate to replace Veselin Djuranovic, of Montenegro republic, whose four-year term as premier expires in May.

Mrs. Planinc has been president of the Croatian Communist party since 1971 following the purge of Croatian separatist Communist leaders whose activities, Tito charged, threatened multinational Yugoslavia with civil war.

Yugoslavia's elections, which are held every four years, will take place in the March-May period, when 2.5 million delegates (deputies) representing 22 million Yugoslavs will be chosen to all assembly delegations, ranging from municipalities, towns, republics, provinces and the federation.

The new two-house federal assembly (parliament) and government will be elected in May, just before the regular congress of the ruling Communist party in June, when a new party leadership ordinarily would be elected.

Advertisement

The nine-man collective state presidency is composed of one representative from each of Yugoslavia's six constituent republics and two autonomous provinces and the president of the Communist party as an ex-officio member.

However, the office term of the state presidency lasts five years, and the current presidency was elected May 1979 -- meaning that the collective head of state will not change this year.

The state presidency announced that among 'possible candidates' at the federal level are Lazar Mojsov, 61-year-old diplomat and former president of the Communist party after Tito's death, to replace Josip Vrhovec as foreign minister; chief of the general staff Admiral Branko Mamula, 60, to replace Gen. Nikola Ljubicic, 66-year-old longest-serving cabinet member since 1967, as defense minister; and Stane Dolanc, 56-year-old close aide to Tito, to replace Gen. Franjo Herljevic, 66, as interior (police) minister.

The republics and provinces have reached agreement on these appointments. Consultations for other ministerial posts and cabinet members are still under way.

adv for ams thurs jan.

Latest Headlines