Country Listing

Yugoslavia Table of Contents



Government: Federal system in which federal government and governments of six republics and two provinces (with limited autonomy) shared power and authority. After death of dictator Josip Broz Tito in 1980, head of state began annual rotation among members of eight-member State Presidency. Federal Executive Council (FEC) acted as cabinet; its president was prime minister and de facto head of government. Legislative branch was bicameral Federal Assembly (Skupstina), representing republics and social organizations. Decision making slow, often cumbersome; proposals subject to veto by republics whose interests were threatened.

Politics: Until 1990, sole center of political power was League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY). Its split along republic lines coincided with growth of many noncommunist parties, mostly republic based, in late 1980s. First noncommunist republic government elected in Croatia in 1990. Multiparty elections held in all republics in 1990.

Foreign Relations: Maintained nonaligned international position after breaking with Soviet Union in 1948; remained a leader of world Nonaligned Movement through 1980s. Previously balanced relations with Soviet Union and West tilted toward West after economic and political crises in Soviet Union and Eastern European late 1980s.

International Agreements and Memberships: Member of United Nations and most of its specialized agencies. Observer status in Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon). Also member of World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Data as of December 1990