“VECERNJE NOVOSTI”, 7 December 2003
Interview with Prof. Pavle Nikolic, member of the Crown Council
The Crown as a reconciliator
Prompted by the negative experiences with the Broz’s and Miloisevic’s republics, Belgrade professor Pavle Nikolic has made and presented to the public (on the Day of St. Dymitri, 2001), the draft of the new Constitution in which he proposed to reestablish monarchy in Serbia. Professor Nikolic is also the Chairman of the International Association for Constitutional Law and the member of the Crown Council. His is of the opinion that the failure of the republican state system was shown after 5 October – because the function of the president from the previous period was kept, with a totally passive role, which was followed by the triple failure of the presidential elections, which additionally discredited the republic. – That is why the constitutional parliamentary monarchy is a warrant and a foundation of a true democratic order in Serbia – points out Prof. Nikolic in his interview for “Novosti”, and reminds that Serbia has always been a monarchy, except for the last six decades, and that through its constitutions of 1888 and 1903 it reached the peaks of Constitutional law.
POWER DERIVED FROM THE CONSTITUTION
In his proposal of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Serbia, you have anticipated a one house Parliament, Ministerial Council, Constitutional and other courts typical of all modern states, and as the head of it – the King. What are his prerogatives?
- The King proposes changes in the Constitution, he announces referendums, suggests candidates for the Prime Minister, from the parliamentary majority. As proposed by the Supreme Court he appoints the judges of the Constitutional and other courts.
Is the King’s power limited in any way?
- The power and the prerogatives of the King are regulated by law. The King derives his authority from the Constitution, and by itself, he is subordinate to the Constitution. His power is limited and generally narrower than the power of a president of a republic in many contemporary states with the democratic system, which means that the constitutional parliamentary monarchy can’t be a personal regime, which is often the case in republics. Every King’s act must be signed by a Minister in charge or the Prime Minister, and without it, any King’s acts is invalid.
Your opponents say it is impossible to put Serbia back into a shape of monarchy?
- They are wrong. Today it can be done in a legal and legitimate way, which means by the will of the people. Monarchy could be reestablished by the Constitutional Assembly, the one elected for the occasion, or the this one, elected on 28 December that would proclaim it for the Constitutional.
Isn’t it necessary and sensible to have a referendum on such a major change?
- Monarchy in our country was abolished in an illegitimate way, by an act of violence of the Constitutional Assembly which in 1945 was established in a single party elections, during the brutal eliminations of the political opponents. It was not abolished by the will of the people and thus today we do can’t speak of establishment, but the reestablishment of what had been illegally abolished, and that is why we do not need a referendum.
LANGUAGE IS NOT A PROBLEM
As the member of the Crown Council of Alexander Karadjordjevic, how do you see the notions that he has no right to the throne, since his father had abdicated?
- The issue of the alleged abdication is always brought by those who are a priori against the reestablishment of monarchy. In all monarchies there is a rule of the succession to the throne. Karadjordjevic Dynasty is the only legitimate one in Serbia, for they were on the throne at the moment when monarchy was abolished in 1945. According to that, the first born, i.e. the eldest son of the then King succeeds the throne, and that is Alexander, the son of Peter II.
The opponents of monarchy, however, point out his poor Serbian as an obstacle?
- None of those who point out “the problem” of language, had any problems in 1945 with Broz who had never spoken correct Serbian or his “native” Croatian. And today we ask of a man who was born abroad (his father was exiled) to speak perfect Serbian?
Having al that in mind, how do you see the proposals to the Crown Prince to form a political party, on the model of Bulgarian Emperor, and try his luck in the elections?
- Such ideas are amusing. A monarch is above political parties, he favors no single party and that is why he can be what is expected of him – a reconciliator. That is a better position than to be a president of republic, who as a rule is a member of a political party and has to support its interests. The situation with Bulgarian heir to the throne is quite different. Because he established a political party, he is no longer an Emperor, he is the Prime Minister.
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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