The federal Party’s collapse forced existing leaders, and their rivals, to adjust to multi-party elections in each republic. These would bring nationalist parties into government in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, and rubberstamp Milošević’s political control in Serbia and Montenegro. Meanwhile, the federation’s Prime Minister, Ante Marković, was trying to reconstruct Yugoslav politics around an alternative programme to Milošević’s assault on the republics’ sovereignty. To explain why the break-up of Yugoslavia led to war, historians must interpret the political conflicts and failed alternatives of 1990: these would set the course for the decisions about independence and use of force that leaders in Slovenia, Croatia and Belgrade took in 1991.
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