Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis 2000
Desperate measures for government parties
BELGRADE, Tuesday -- The Federal Customs Department has ordered all customs chiefs in Serbia to submit lists of all employees and the polling stations at which they should vote, the Social Democratic Union claimed today.
In a press release, the party claims it can prove the existence of the order, "whose purpose is to distribute pre-circled ballot papers to all customs employees on September 24, so that the regime can be sure of their votes".
The government coalition parties have seized seven of the ninety seats in the local government of Gornji Milanovac even before elections begin by manipulating electoral units, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia alleged today. Local Opposition coordinator, Pavle Brkovic, told Beta that the partitioning of units had given the village of Nakuc, with a total of 86 voters, the same right to elect one representative as have units with 1,200 voters. Candidates for the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Yugoslav United Left had collected signatures from every voter in this and other small election units, which means they will be the only candidates for these seats.
Meanwhile the Democratic Opposition of Serbia representative of the Federal Election Commission, Srdjan Radovanovic, said today that 14 tons of ballot papers in both the Serbian and Albanian language were delivered yesterday to the south Serbian electorate of Prokuplje.
Radovanovic said that it was impossible that elections would be held in regions with a majority Albanian population and that the Yugoslav insistence on elections in Kosovo was merely an show of formal sovereignty in the province.
He added that he believed that the government was not organised enough to steal votes on a large scale because the opposition had scrutineers ready for almost all polling stations.
Democratic Alternative leader Nebojsa Covic said today that the authorities were applying enormous pressure on citizens registered as opposition scrutineers for the elections, even going as far as drafting a number of them into the army.
Covic added that the army's chief of staff, Nebojsa Pavkovic, had violated the Constitution in the crudest possible way and was directly working for the Socialist Party campaign.
Asked how the Democratic Opposition would organise people against police and army cordons if there were any outbreak of unrest on Sunday, Covic said that he did not belief the police had personnel for enough cordons. In any case, he added, half the police in the cordons would certainly join the other side.
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