It is possible that Rankovic was planning a coup d'etat. Tito was ready to leave the country on an extended trip to the Far East, and Rankovic would make his move while the aging dictator was out of the way. But he miscalculated. Military intelligence personnel reported Rankovic's preparations to Tito. The dictator also found out that the secret police, still dominated by his protege, had placed microphones in his offices and private dwellings and had listened in on his conversations.
On June 16, 1966, Tito berated Rankovic at a meeting of the Executive Committee (Politburo) of the League of Yugoslav Communists (the Communist party). Rankovic protested his innocence but was forced to resign from all his posts. The Central Commuttee of the party met and endorsed the report of the special committee charged with investigating Rankovic's activities. The report pointed out that Rankovic had turned the secret police into his personal instrument and had taken it out of the supervision of the federal government and party authorities. Rankovic had placed secret policemen in most governmental and party offices without notifying his colleagues and supervisors. Rankovic's removal was, therefore, approved, but he was not given any other punishment so as not to anger his Serb supporters.
As a consequence of the " Rankovic affair," the leaders around Tito realized that the central political and economic organs actually threatened their system. They embarked on writing a new constitution for Yugoslavia, which was promulgated in 1974. The new document provided greater autonomy for the constituent republics and the two territories ( Kosovo and Vojvodina), and it recognized the economic decentralization of the federation that was introduced in the late 1960s.
Fejto Francois, A History of the People's Democracies ( New York, 1969); Petrovic Nenad, "The Fall of Alexandar Rankovic," Review, 6 ( London, 1967), pp. 533-551; Rusinow Dennison , The Yugoslav Experiment 1948-1974 ( Berkeley, CA, 1977); Volgyes Ivan, Politics in Eastern Europe ( Chicago, IL, 1986).
Serbia.Area: 88,361 square kilometers (55,220 square miles). Population: 9,791,500. Capital city: Belgrade (1,700,000). Major ethnic groups: Serbs 65.8 percent; Albanians 17.2 percent; Hungarians 3.5 percent; Muslim Slavs 2.4 percent; Others, including Gypsies 11. 2 percent. Major religions: Serbian Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, Muslims. President: Slobodan Milosevic. Prime minister. Radoman Bozovic ( 1953).
The medieval Serb state was a powerful organization. It lost its independence in 1389, after Sultan Murad I's Ottoman army inflicted a devastating defeat on Serb forces. Until 1815, Serbia was under Ottoman suzerainty. In 1815, it received autonomy, and in 1878, it was recognized as an independent state. Serbia became a kingdom in 1882. In 1918, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina formed a south Slav state, called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was a mini-multinational state with many ethnic groups with diverse historical, religious, and cultural traditions. Serbia was the dominant force within the