Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak

The Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak (Serbian Cyrillic: Странка Демократске Акције Санџака, Bosnian: Stranka demokratske akcije Sandžaka) is a political party that represents the Bosniak ethnic minority concentrated in Serbia, in Sandžak region.

Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak

Странка демократске акције Санџака
Stranka demokratske akcije Sandžaka
AbbreviationSDA Sandžaka
PresidentSulejman Ugljanin
Secretary-GeneralSelma Džinović
Deputy PresidentŠemsudin Kučević
Vice PresidentEnis Imamović
FounderSulejman Ugljanin
Founded29 July 1990 (1990-07-29)
Headquarters28. novembra 57, Novi Pazar, Serbia
IdeologyBosniak minority interests
Bosniak nationalism
ReligionSunni Islam
National Assembly
2 / 250
Bosniak National Council
19 / 35


The Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak (SDA) was founded on 29 July 1990 in Novi Pazar,[4] as a branch of the Party of Democratic Action based in Sarajevo,[5] which was then a pan-Yugoslav political party.[6] The branch was founded in order to protect the interests of Muslims of Sandžak, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.[7] The leadership of the SDA included Sulejman Ugljanin, president of the SDA, Harun Hadžić, president of the SDA of Montenegro, Numan Balić, president of the SDA of Kosovo and Metohija and Riza Halili, president of the SDA of Preševo.[4]

The SDA founded the Muslim National Council of Sandžak (MNVS) on 11 May 1991.[7] The MNVS acted as a quasi-governmental body of the Sandžak Muslims.[8] It organised a referendum between 25 and 27 October 1991,[9] asking the Sandžak Muslims weather they're in favour of "full political and territorial autonomy" of Sandžak and its "right to join one of the sovereign republics", presumably the SR Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbian authorities declared the referendum unconstitutional.[10] The referendum was organised with the support from the Bosnian SDA, although this was denied by the MNVS.[11] The MNVS claimed that 264,000 people in Sandžak, the rest of the SFR Yugoslavia and abroad asked to be included on the voter list.[12] The turnout was 71%, while 98% voted in favour of the political and territorial autonomy of Sandžak with right of joining to other republics of the SFR Yugoslavia.[9] President of the SDA said that the MNVS will decide which republic will Sandžak join, depending on further developments.[12]

In late November the MNVS selected a new government.[11] The secretary of the SDA, Rasim Ljajić was named the prime minister, while Ugljanin remained the president of the MNVS. The SDA maintained majority in the government, with the Liberal Bosniak Organisation and the Party of National Equity also being represented.[8]

After the European Community declared the recognition of former Yugoslav republics in December 1991, Ugljanin sent the results of referendum to the Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek asking for "the recognition and full international and legal subjectivity of Sandžak".[12] In January 1992, the MNVS declared the creation of a "special status" for Sandžak that would give to the region a far-reaching autonomy. The initiative wasn't recognised by the Yugoslav or Serbian government.[8]

In a follow-up letter to the European Ministerial Council of 5 April 1992, Ugljanin, under the impact of the imminent foundation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (founded after other republics left the SFR Yugoslavia, except Serbia and Montenegro), and referring to the Bosnian War, asked again for the recognition of Sandžak, as well as deployment of UN troops and other international presence.[12]

On 18 April, a Conference of Muslim Intellectuals of Sandžak, Montenegro and Serbia protested, in strong terms, against the foundation of the FR Yugoslavia against their will, calling for its nonrecognition. The MNVS adopted a resolution on 28 April that denied existence of the FR Yugoslavia, and insisted that the Sandžak Muslims should join the republic of their choice, which, in this case, was the Bosnian Muslim dominated Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[13] In the resolution, it was bluntly said that "Muslims of Sandžak do not recognise newly created Yugoslavia".[12]

Electoral historyEdit

Bosniak National CouncilEdit

The first elections for the national councils of various national minorities in Serbia were held in October 2014. The Bosniak National Council has 35 seats. The turnout for the Bosniak National Council was 35.7%. Most of the seats were won by the coalition led by the SDA of Sandžak, which gained 19 representatives, while the opposing coalition under Mufti Muamer Zukorlić won 16 seats.[14]

Serbian parliamentary electionsEdit

National Assembly
Election In coalition with Votes won Percentage Seats won Change Government
(Coalition totals) (SDA only)
1990 None 68,446 1.66%
3 / 250
1997 List for Sandžak 84,156 1.67%
3 / 250
2003 DSGSSDCSDU 481,249 12.58%
0 / 250
  3 opposition
2007 List for Sandžak 33,823 0.84%
0 / 250
2008 List for Sandžak 38,148 0.92%
0 / 250
2012 None 27,708 0.71%
2 / 250
  2 government
2014 None 35,157 0.98%
3 / 250
  1 opposition
2016 None 30,092 0.80%
2 / 250
  1 N/A

Local electionsEdit

Local election Council
Novi Pazar Tutin Sjenica Prijepolje Priboj Nova Varoš Total won / Total contested
14 / 47
21 / 37
12 / 39
6 / 61
3 / 41
0 / 27
56 / 252
11 / 47
22 / 37
15 / 39
3 / 61
4 / 41
0 / 27
55 / 252

See alsoEdit



  • Ahrens, Geert-Hinrich (2007). Diplomacy on the Edge: Containment of Ethnic Conflict and the Minorities Working Group of the Conferences on Yugoslavia. Washington, D. C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. ISBN 0801885574.
  • Bugajski, Janusz (1994). Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe: A Guide to Nationality Policies, Organizations, and Parties. Amonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 1563242826.
  • Poulton, Hugh; Taji-Farouki, Suha (1997). Muslim Identity and the Balkan State. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 1850652767.
  • Stojarová, Vera; Emerson, Peter (2013). Party Politics in the Western Balkans. London: Routledge. ISBN 1135235856.
  • Szöcsik, Edina; Bochsler, Daniler (2014). "On Fissions and Fusions of Ethnic Minority Parties". New Nation-States and National Minorities. Colchester: ECPR Press. ISBN 1907301860.
  • Vance, Charles M.; Paik, Yongsun (2006). Managing a Global Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities in International Human Resource Management. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 0765620162.

External linksEdit