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Borisav Jović

14th President of SFR Yugoslavia
President of the Presidency of SFR Yugoslavia
In office
15 May 1990 – 15 May 1991
Prime Minister Ante Marković
Preceded by Janez Drnovšek
Succeeded by Sejdo Bajramović (Acting)

In office
15 May 1990 – 15 May 1991
Preceded by Janez Drnovšek
Succeeded by Stjepan Mesić

In office
May 15, 1989 – June 15, 1992
Preceded by Nikola Ljubičić
Succeeded by Post abolished

Born 19 October 1928(1928-10-19)
Nikšić, Batočina municipality, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (today Serbia)
Political party Socialist Party of Serbia (from 1990), League of Communists of Serbia (until 1990)

Borisav Jović (Serbian Cyrillic: Борисав Јовић), born in the village of Nikšić near Batočina on 19 October 1928, was a Serbian communist politician, who served as the Serbian member of the collective presidency of Yugoslavia during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Jović was a close ally and advisor of Serbian communist official Slobodan Milošević during the 1980s and 1990s, and helped Milošević attain power during the Anti-bureaucratic revolution in Serbia.[1] He served as chairman of the presidency of Yugoslavia from May 1990 to May 1991. In his book Poslednji dani SFRJ (Belgrade, 1995), Joviċ describes how in late June 1990, following the electoral victory in Slovenia and Croatia of non-communist forces, he proposed to Milošević and federal defense minister Veljko Kadijević that they "throw Slovenia and Croatia out of Yugoslavia" through the use of force, while retaining hold of Serb-populated sections of Croatia, a proposal that Milošević agreed to. Shortly after that meeting Jović began implementing the strategy that led to the end of the federal Yugoslav state.[1] Jović is perhaps best known for helping to negotiate the Brioni Accord in early July 1991, which gave Slovenia its independence after the Ten-Day War.

Near the end of his mandate in the rotating presidency, he blocked his successor, Stjepan Mesić, a Croat, from taking the presidency, thereby violating the Constitution. In mid-1991, with the tensions leading to the Croatian War of Independence rising in Croatia, he attempted to enact emergency powers to the Yugoslav National Army which would effectively enable the army to take control of the country and reverse the effects of the first free democratic elections which had elected independence-advocating governments in the republics of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia, leaving only Serbia and Montenegro committed to union. A vote of 5 out of 8 members of the Presidency were required, and Serbia had under its political control votes of Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina and Kosovo and presumed that the Serb delegate representing Bosnia and Herzegovina would vote for the plan. The plan backfired, however, because the Bosnian Serb delegate, Bogić Bogičević, refused to vote for the plan.

In the 1995 BBC documentary The Death of Yugoslavia, Jović described to interviewers his perception of the events that took place that eventually resulted in the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Yugoslav Wars. [2] During this interview (Part 2, "The Road to War"), as well as in his testimony before the ICTY[2], Jović described the actions of the Yugoslav leadership that led up to the formation of the Bosnian Serb Army. Jović says these actions were decided in a private discussion he held with Serbian President Milošević. According to Jović, he realized that Bosnia and Herzegovina was about to be recognized by the international community, and since Yugoslav People's Army troops were still located there at that point, their presence on Bosnian territory could have led to the FRY being accused of aggression. To avoid this, he and Milošević decided to move all JNA soldiers originating from Serbia and Montenegro back into Serbia and Montenegro, and to move all JNA soldiers originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this way, every Bosnian Serb was transferred from the Yugoslav army to what became the newly created Bosnian Serb Army. In the film, Jović also revealed that Yugoslavia promised to pay all the costs, as the Bosnian Serb government could not afford the costs on its own.

Jović viewed the liberal reformist former Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Markovic as being responsible for destroying the country and being a puppet of the capitalist west. Jović, when President of Yugoslavia, commented

The general conclusion is that Ante Markovic is no longer acceptable or reliable to us. No one has any doubts in their mind any longer that he's the extended arm of the United States in terms of overthrowing anyone who ever thinks of socialism, and it is through our votes that we appointed him Prime Minister in the Assembly. He is playing the most dangerous game of treason.[3]

Jović's conclusion on Markovic's role

He was no doubt the most active creator of the destruction of our economy, and to a large extent a significant participant in the break-up of Yugoslavia. Others, when boasted of having broken up Yugoslavia wanted to take this infamous role upon themselves but in all these respects they never came close to what Markovic did, who had declared himself as the protagonist of Yugoslavia's survival[4]

Political offices
Preceded by
Janez Drnovšek
President of the Presidency of SFR Yugoslavia
15 May 1990–15 May 1991
Succeeded by
Stjepan Mesić


  1. ^ Borisav Jović, Poslednji dani SFRJ: Izvodi iz dnevnika (Belgrade: Politika, 1995), pp.159-161.
  2. ^ ICTY transcript of Slobodan Milošević's trial, November 18

Redirecting to Borisav Jović


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