Skip to main content

Koštunica, Vojislav

Vojislav Koštunica (voi´släv kôshtōō´nētsä), 1944–, Serbian politician, president of Yugoslavia (2000–3) and prime minister of Serbia (2004–8) b. Belgrade. A constitutional lawyer and liberal anticommunist, he lectured at his Belgrade Univ., but was fired (1974) for his criticism of Tito. A free-speech advocate in the 1980s, he co-founded (1989) Yugoslavia's Democratic party and later founded (1992) and led the breakaway Democratic party of Serbia (DSS). A member of the Yugoslavian parliament (1990–97) during the years of Yugoslavia's breakup and ethnic warfare, he supported a primary role for Serbia within Yugoslavia while opposing the policies of Slobodan Milošević. In 2000, a 18-party opposition coalition picked Koštunica as its presidential candidate, and he defeated Milošević, becoming president of Yugoslavia.

As president, Koštunica rejected the idea of trying Milošević (or others involved in the atrocities of the 1990s) for war crimes. He also tried but failed to preserve the union between Serbia and Montenegro, the last remaining Yugoslavian republics, and it was ultimately dissolved in 2006. In 2003 he was elected to the Serbian parliament and became (2004) prime minister of Serbia, heading a center-right coalition, and remained in that post at the head of a revamped coalition after the 2007 elections.

While continuing to oppose the Hague tribunal process for prosecuting Yugoslavian war crimes, Koštunica moved to fight corruption and unemployment, worked toward Serbian membership in the European Union, and emphasized the preservation of Serb rights in Bosnia and in Kosovo, where he strongly opposed any move that would lead to the region's independence. After Kosovo declared independence in Feb., 2008, he resigned and forced the calling of new elections, objecting to his coalition partners' continuing support for joining the EU after Kosovo had been recognized by many EU members. He remained leader of the DSS until 2014, when he resigned after the party failed to win any seats in parliament; he later quit the DSS over disagreements with the new leadership.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Koštunica, Vojislav." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 13 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Koštunica, Vojislav." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 13, 2018).

"Koštunica, Vojislav." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 13, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.