14th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
The 14th (Extraordinary) Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian Latin: Četrnaesti (vanredni) kongres Saveza komunista Jugoslavije, Cyrillic: Четрнаести (ванредни) конгрес Савеза комуниста Југославије) was held from 20 to 22 January 1990, in the Belgrade Sava Centar. It was the last Congress of League of Communists of Yugoslavia. It was attended by delegates from all the republics and provinces, as well as a party delegation from the Yugoslav People's Army. The Chair of the meeting was President of the Presidium of the Central Committee Milan Pančevski from Macedonia.
During the 1980s, Yugoslavia has faced a growing political and economic crisis that threatened the very survival of the federation. Conflicting strategies of the future of the nation, based both in republic's capitals, Belgrade, the power of the League of Communists, and its debt crisis finally separated on the 14th extraordinary Congress in January 1990.
During the Congress, any illusions about a united LCY front that could bring the country out of crisis were dispelled. Instead the Congress was dominated mostly by clashes between the Serbian and Slovenian delegations over the power and decision making process of the Constituent republics of Yugoslavia. The Serbian delegation advocated for the introduction of a policy of "one man - one vote", with a more centralized Yugoslavia. The Slovenes, however, suggested a confederation party and state, giving more power to the republics. All proposals of the Slovenian delegation, led by Milan Kučan, were rejected. At the same time, Serbian proposals were accepted on a majority vote, helped by Serbia's domination of the votes in Kosovo, Vojvodina and Montenegro.
After two days with a sharp verbal conflict, the Slovene delegation walked out. Immediately thereafter, the head of the delegation from Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, suggested that Congress continue to work and move on to decision-making. However, this was strongly opposed by the delegation from Croatia, who argued this was unconstitutional. When Milošević asked what it would take to recommence the meeting, the Croatian delegation remarked "the Slovene delegation", and that if the meeting was recommenced they too would leave the proceedings. When attempts were made, the Croatian delegation were true to their word, and they too left, joined by the delegations of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Milan Pančevski called the days proceedings to a close, and called for an adjournment for the following day, however this did not happen, and the congress was never recalled.
Yugoslavia faced an uncertain period after the Congress, without any significant cohesive force or individual that would lead to some kind of compromise or conciseness. Soon after, the LCY was dissolved after 81 years of existence, ending 45 years of uninterrupted rule and paving the way for free elections. This event was one of the key moments for the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia.
- Davor, Pauković, (2008-12-22). "Last Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia: Causes, Consequences and Course of Dissolution". Contemporary Issues (in Croatian). 1 (1). ISSN 1849-2428.