Vidovdan Constitution

Vidovdan Constitution

 

(Vidovdanski Ustav), bourgeois constitution of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (since 1929, Yugoslavia). Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on June 28, 1921, on St. Vitus’ Day (Vidovdan); hence the name.

The Vidovdan Constitution proclaimed the kingdom a constitutional parliamentary and hereditary monarchy (Article 1), headed by a Serbian king of the Karadjordjevic dynasty. It instituted a unicameral parliament (the Narodna Skupstina). It proclaimed the equality of all before the law and freedom of speech, assembly, association, and the press. At the same time it ensured the rule of the great-power Serbian bourgeoisie in the country. It invested the king with executive and legislative powers, which he shared with the Narodna Skupstina. According to Article 127, the king could at any time suspend the political rights and freedoms of the citizens. The Vidovdan Constitution was in force until the establishment of a monarchist dictatorship in the country on Jan. 6, 1929.

PUBLICATION

Konstitutsii burzhuaznykh stran. Vol. 2: Srednie i malye evropeiskie strany. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. Pages 46-72.

REFERENCE

Jankowić, D. “Vidovdanski ustav.” In Iz istorije Jugoslavije, 1918-1945. Belgrade, 1958. Pages 182-90.

V. G. KARASEV

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The plethora of coalitions that characterized the Parliament of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes through the decade, without much to show in the way of effective governing, have left a couple of common signposts--the Vidovdan Constitution, the murder of Stjepan Radic, and of course the dictatorship--to stand in for the period as a whole.
The number and variance of proposals considered as serious alternatives to the centralistic Vidovdan Constitution of 1921 is indeed telling.