Ongoing Internal Strife and Controversy Over Kosovar Independence
Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica dissolved the government on March 8, 2008, stating that he could not govern with President Tadic, who is in favor of gaining European Union membership and improving relations with the United States. President Tadic called for early elections in May.
On May 11, 2008, President Tadic's coalition won parliamentary elections with 38.7% (103 of 250 seats) of the vote. The Serbian Radical Party earned 29.1%, the Democratic Party of Serbia 11.3%, the Socialist Party of Serbia 7.9%, and the Liberal Democratic Party 5.2% of the vote.
Parliament in July approved a new government, composed of the Democratic Party, led by President Boris Tadic, and the Socialist Party, which was formerly led by Slobodan Milosevic. The Democratic Party's Mirko Cvetkovic became prime minister. The government vowed to tame the nationalistic fervor that has raised concern internationally, particularly when Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. Cveetkovic also said Serbia will reach out to the West and join the European Union.
Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb president during the war in Bosnia in the 1990s who orchestrated the massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in Srebrenica, was found outside Belgrade in July 2008. He altered his appearance and had been openly practicing alternative medicine in Serbia. His trial at The Hague began in October 2009.
On October 8, 2008, in a rare move, the United Nations voted to request that the International Court of Justice review the manner in which Kosovo declared independence. Serbia, which initiated the request, considers Kosovo a breakaway territory that acted illegally in declaring independence. Most European Union members abstained from voting on the request.