Serbia's PM Zoran Djindjic was assassinated outside his office 16 years ago

NEWS 12.03.2019 12:51
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Source: REUTERS/Petar Kujundžić

Just before 1 pm, on Wednesday, March 12, 2003, the members of the then police Special Operations Unit and some well-known criminals organised the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, just over two years after he assumed office following the ouster of the late strongman Slobodan Milosevic and elections held afterwards.

The executors are behind bars, but a political motive behind the kill and its masterminds are still unknown.

The manifestations of the anniversary of this political murder include laying wreaths and flowers at Djindjic's grave and the place of the assassination inside the Government buildingćs parking lot, walks, the promotion of the “Orations in Zoran’s Honour 2006-2018” and the proclamation of the winner in the first “Zoran Djindji’s Hackathon” competition.

Djindjic was the long-time leader of the Democratic Party (DS) and the first non-communist Mayor of Belgrade since the WW II. He founded the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), gathering 18 then opposition parties with a single aim – to dethrone Milosevic.

After many massive street demonstrations, DOS managed first to have its candidate winning the presidential election against Milosevic in September 2000 and then to triumph in the general elections three months later.

The newly formed parliament elected Djindjic as prime minister on January 25, 2001.

After Djindjic’s murder, the DOS coalition soon started to dissolve due to particular parties’ and individuals’ interests. His successors did not have enough political influence to keep the group together and nine years later, the DS and other ruling parties lost general elections to the current coalition of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which was formed after the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) split and former Milosevic’s Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS).

Djindjic, 50-year-old when killed, was a pro-European politician who improved Belgarde's cooperation with The Hague war crime tribunal and handed it over some highly-ranked ex-politicians, police and military officials, including Milosevic.

Djindjic received his doctorate in philosophy at German’s Heidelberg University.

He was the author of several political books and numerous social-political essays.

He left a wife and two children behind.