To celebrate Vojislav Kostunica’s “resignation”, I thought a timeline illustrating Vojo's rhetoric vs. achievements might be in order.
2000: Vojo says that Milosevic will not be sent to the Hague tribunal.
2001: Milosevic is extradited to the Hague tribunal.
2001: Vojo says he will preserve the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2002: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is dissolved
2000: Vojo says that the security services will be transformed
2003 Transformed state security service lieutenant colonel Zvezdan Jovanovic murders prime minister Zoran Djindjic; other members of transformed security services are implicated. Vojo’s security adviser spends 70+ days in prison.
2004: Vojo’s security adviser becomes head of transformed security service. Kostunica says indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic is “not in Serbia”.
2006 Kostunica cabinet minister Rasim Ljajic says that Mladic was in Serbia between 2003 and late 2005
2005 Vojo says Serbia should integrate into the EU
2006 EU suspends integration process due to failure of Kostunica’s transformed police and state security service to hand over Mladic.
2005 Vojo acts to preserve the State Union of Serbia & Montenegro.
2006 State Union of Serbia & Montenegro is dissolved
2007 Vojo says that Kosovo will never become an independent state
2008 Kosovo becomes independent state.
2008 Kostunica’s government calls for peaceful protests
2008 Protestors trash shops, restaurants, embassies etc.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
His other triumphs aside, political scientists the world over will no doubt wish to understand the secret of Vojo’s success.
My guess is that it all comes down to principles. Vojo talks about principles alot. They must be important. Especially the deep-rooted, personal principles, which Vojo neatly summarises in a BBC interview some years ago.
BBC INTERVIEWER JEREMY VINE:
"But you’re the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. What happens if Kosovo does go its own way? What happens if Montenegro decides to go independent and you are left with nothing to be President of?"
"I’m not thinking in terms of being the President of something. I'm thinking of terms of saving something that is not only stability in my country and sovereignty of my country but stability and peace in the Balkans. I do not care about my political career. I care about the future of my state. Some normal relations between different countries and nations in the Balkans. "
So farewell, Vojo, to you and your beautiful truths. This is not a last goodbye though, for you clearly care too little for your own political career to leave the stage just yet.
But while you're gearing up for your final act, if I've missed out anything noteworthy from your long, illustrious career - witticisms, achievements, favourite sayings, jokes, preferred historical figures/colours/sporting heroes/aftershave etc. - I invite your many admirers to post comments here.