23 November 2003
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS CROWN PRINCE ALEXANDER II KARADJORDJEVIC
IT IS GOOD TO HAVE THE KING!
● In all European monarchies the king is both a symbol of stability, unitiy and continuity, and defender of the democratic process ● A clear share of power, and source of legitimacy between the head of state and the executive authorities, is a test of success for a state organization model, and I believe in our case it is easier to be achieved through a constitutional monarchy
For the third time during the last year the citizens of Serbia didn’t elect the president. At the same time parliamentary crisis and crisis of Government, as well as constitutional and crisis of democratic intitutions is being debated for quite some time. In this situation, among others, monarchist aspirations revive, so we asked His Royal Highness Alexander II Karadjordjevic is this the right time for the restitution of monarchy?
- I don’t know what I could say that would be more clear and more persuasive than what the citizens have said in the third elections that failed for the third time. I can’t say that a constitutional monarchy is always and in all circumstances better than a republic. One must see the results, not just theoretic assumptions. In some countries a republic functions flawlessly and in some others disastrously. We do not come into the first category! In our country one problem has been constantly pointed at, and that is the too big concentration of power in single hands, or in one party. Therefore a clear share of power, and source of legitimacy between the head of state and the executive authorities, is a test of success for a state organization model. I believe that in our country it is easier to achieve success through the model of constitutional monarchy than through the model of a republic. If there is anybody not sure of how constitutional monarchies function, let them look at the examples of European constitutional monarchies Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway.
Stability and unity
What is the right way to reestablish monarchy in your opinion? Is it through a referendum or in the new Serbian Constitution, or the Parliament will be able to decide that?
- There are many models, but they are not in the same way realistic or practical. The shortest way is, I believe, the Constitutional Assembly, but legal experts should have their word on that first. Professor Pavle Nikolic, a member of the Crown Council and recognized expert in constitutional law has come up with a draft of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Serbia.
If Serbia was monarchy right now, and you were the King, how would you organize and lead the country?
- It is not up to the King to organize the country, but up to the democratic institutions and legislature defined by the constitution. The King takes care that the permanent national interests do not become the means for the political parties’ structures’ survival. All European constitutional monarchies respect the principle that the King reigns, but does not rule, the democratically elected government rules. The very fact that the King exists is most often enough to prevent the rise of absolute power and dramatic abuse of the mandate won in the elections. The King is the symbol of stability, unity and continuity. The King is the defender of the democratic process.
- Above all, by showing that Serbia is a democratic and stable country, a constitutional monarchy with strong democratic institutions and a high level of citizens’ freedoms. I am aware of almost all factors of the world’s and European political, economic and cultural establishments. With many of them I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends. With the stability of a constitutional monarchy I have no reason to doubt that we could count on their support. The reestablishment of constitutional monarchy in Serbia would mean the end of irresponsible toying with the fate of the people, nation and the country.
What are the advantages of monarchy?
- If you look at all the European constitutional monarchies and those far away such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan you can hardly find anything that could be described as a disadvantage compared to any modern and efficient republic. If one looks at things locally, our example, then one realizes how much we have missed for decades. That is the greatest compliment for constitutional monarchy!
What does Serbia need
What are the downsides of monarchy?
- Systems are not good or bad by themselves, but because they do not correspond to the interests of a society and the level of individual freedoms. Constitutional monarchy as a model has one inherent disadvantage, and that is that the head of state is not elected! At the same time, that is the very greatest advantage of a constitutional monarchy when there is a situation in which the struggle for power becomes more important than any permanent general interest of the country and the nation. It is important to note that the King is not a member of any political party whereas in a republic the president comes from a political party and thus cannot truly exercise neutrality. In a constitutional monarchy the king does not favour a single political party, but rather respects all political parties which is exactly what Serbia needs.
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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