Yugoslav Left
Југословенска левица
Jugoslovenska levica
FounderMirjana Marković
Founded23 July 1994
Dissolved12 April 2010
Preceded byLeague of Communists – Movement for Yugoslavia
HeadquartersVenizelosova 31, Belgrade
Political positionFar-left
Colours  Red
Slogan"Jul je kul!"
("JUL is cool!")
jul.org.yu (archived)

The Yugoslav Left (Serbian: Југословенска левица, romanizedJugoslovenska levica, JUL) was a political party in Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[1] At its peak, the party had 20 seats in Republic of Serbia's National Assembly following the 1997 general election.


The party was formed in 1994 by merging 19 left-wing parties, led by the League of Communists – Movement for Yugoslavia (SK-PJ). It was led by Mirjana Marković, originally holding the title of President of the Directorate.

Unlike the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and its ally the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) which were direct descendants of the League of Communists of Serbia and Montenegro respectively, the Yugoslav Left was an all-Yugoslav party with members from both constituent bodies.[2]

Despite these differences, the JUL and the SPS collaborated closely. The JUL generally did not take part in elections separately. Several members of the SPS crossed the floor to JUL at some stage.[3]

On 24 and 25 March 1995, the party held its 1st Congress at the Sava Center in Belgrade, and theatre director Ljubiša Ristić was elected president.[4]

In 1996, the JUL joined the Left Coalition with the SPS and New Democracy. Following the 1997 election, the party had 20 MPs and representatives in various local assemblies. It held five ministerial posts in the second cabinet of Mirko Marjanović.

At the 2nd Congress in Kragujevac on 6 April 2002, Marković was elected President of the Yugoslav Left.[5]

It had a minimal presence in Montenegrin politics. At its peak, the JUL was part of the Patriotic Coalition for Yugoslavia in the 2002 election with the People's Socialist Party of Montenegro, and the Serbian Radical Party. The coalition won less than 3% of the vote and no seats.

In the 2003 election in Serbia, the JUL received only 0.1% of the vote.[6] The party officially ceased to exist on 12 April 2010.[7]

Ideology and platform

JUL has been described as a radical or far-left political party by various sources.[8][9][10] It has been described as neocommunist,[11][12][13][14] communist,[15] Marxist,[3] nationalist,[16][17] and Eurosceptic.[18] In its political platform, it supported communism and general Yugoslavism.[19] JUL declared itself to be a party of all "left-wing and progressive forces that believed that the general interest always comes above private interest", including communists, socialists, greens,[20] social democrats, and democratic socialists.[1]

Political scientist Srbobran Branković [sr] stated about JUL that "its policies were totally opposite to its rhetoric."[21] Aleksandar Vulin, a co-founder and spokesman for JUL, left the party after perceiving it to have "betrayed its program and became a political mask for the wealthy sitting in the party", and later went on to found the Movement of Socialists.[22]

Demographic characteristics

Its supporters believed in postmaterialism, were opposed to private ownership, and supported law and order.[23] Its social base was mainly amongst peasants and pauperised workers, but it also had members from the so-called nouveau riche of Serbia during Milošević's terms in office, and many high-ranked civil servants and army staff. During the 1990s, opponents of Milošević's government sometimes referred to the JUL "a branch of Communist Party of China in Yugoslavia".[3]


Mirjana Marković, one of the original co-founders, was the first president of JUL.[24][25]

International cooperation

The JUL visited the gatherings of several far-left political groups in Europe and worldwide. It held ties with the Communist Party of China, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Workers' Party of Korea.[3]

Electoral results

Serbian parliamentary elections

Year Popular vote % of popular vote # of seats Seat change Coalition Status
1997 1,418,036 34.26%
20 / 250
Increase 20 Left Coalition government
2000 14,324 0.38%
0 / 250
Decrease 20 no seats
2003 3,771 0.09%
0 / 250
Steady0 no seats

Montenegrin parliamentary elections

Year Popular vote % of popular vote # of seats Seat change Coalition Government
1996 1,668 0.55%
0 / 250
New no seats
1998 345 0.10%
0 / 250
Steady0 no seats
2001 190 0.05%
0 / 250
Steady0 no seats
2002 9,911 2.84%
0 / 250
Steady0 PKJ no seats


  1. ^ a b Janusz Bugajski. Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in the Post-Communist Era. Armonk, New York, USA: The Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 407.
  2. ^ Yugoslav Left leader: "All people in Yugoslavia should live together"[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "Yugoslav Left". Free Serbia. 10 December 1999. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ Thomas 1999, pp. 225–6.
  5. ^ "MIRJANA MARKOVIC IZABRANA ZA PREDSEDNICU JUL-A" (in Serbian). B92. 6 April 2002. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  6. ^ Broad Left entry on JUL Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Mira Marković danas nema šanse kao politički lider". srbijadanas.com. Srbija Danas. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  8. ^ March, Luke (2011). Radical left parties in Europe. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-15487-8. OCLC 782918602.
  9. ^ "Milosevic Moves to Stifle Dissent in Academia". archive.nytimes.com. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  10. ^ Goati, Vladimir (1999). "The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". Societies in conflict: the contribution of law and democracy to conflict resolution. Bled, Slovenia: European Commission For Democracy Through Law. p. 105.
  11. ^ "Serb Reformers Claim Victory". ABC News. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Serbia, Montenegro Future Undecided". AP NEWS. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  13. ^ Steele, Jonathon (2000). "Yugoslavia's hated regime crumbles". Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  14. ^ Goati, Vladimir (2013). Izbori u Srbiji i Crnoj Gori od 1990. do 2013. i u SRJ od 1992. do 2003 (PDF) (in Serbian). Belgrade: CeSID. p. 132. ISBN 978-86-83491-53-7.
  15. ^ "Porodične vrednosti Miloševićevih". Vreme (in Serbian). 28 August 1999. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  16. ^ Breuilly, John (2013). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism. OUP Oxford. p. 527.
  17. ^ Golubović, Zagorka (2003). Politika i svakodnevni život: Srbija 1999–2002. IFDT. p. 225.
  18. ^ Stojic, Marko (2018). Party responses to the EU in the western Balkans : transformation, opposition or defiance?. Cham, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-319-59563-4. OCLC 1003200383.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  19. ^ "ŽIVA JE LEVICA, UMRLA NIJE: Evo da li je JUL JOŠ UVEK KUL. Iznenadiće vas čime se bave bivši funkcioneri partije Mire Marković! (VIDEO)". Telegraf.rs (in Serbian). 12 August 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  20. ^ Vulić, Zorica (8 April 2000). "Ko je ovaj čovek: Vladimir Štambuk" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  21. ^ Branković, Srbobran [in Serbian] (2003). "The Yugoslav "Left" Parties". The Communist Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge. pp. 206–223. doi:10.4324/9781003063629-12. ISBN 9781003063629. S2CID 225474951.
  22. ^ "Vučićev klaun s misijom otkrivanja neprijatelja Srbije". Nacional (in Croatian). 7 April 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  23. ^ Pavlović, Zoran M. (2006). Stranačke pristalice i komponente političke kulture u Srbiji (in Serbian). Belgrade: Institute of Social Studies.
  24. ^ "Umrla Mira Marković". BBC News na srpskom (in Serbian (Latin script)). Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  25. ^ "Preminula Mira Marković". Danas (in Serbian). 14 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2023.