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Government parties: Opposition will steal votes

BELGRADE, Thursday -- Socialist Party of Serbia spokesman Nikola Sainovic today alleged that the opposition was intending to steal votes in Sunday's elections, FoNet reports. Responding to a remark that the Socialists had been caught at election fraud in 1996, Sainovic replied that his allegations about the opposition were based exactly on what had happened in 1996. He added that the opposition was obviously prepared to steal as many votes as they could, but that the monitors and the election committees would not permit it.

In an interview published in state daily Borba today, a senior Yugoslav Left official, Vladimir Stambuk, laid out what he said was the whole scenario for vote theft by the opposition.

The opposition, he said, was insisting on amateur and senseless public opinion surveys which aimed at giving the impression that Vojislav Kostunica could lose the presidential election only in the case of election fraud. Meanwhile the opposition was preparing to steal votes where possible, with the assistance of Western countries, and crying "Catch the thief" the whole time as a smokescreen.

This activity by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, said Stambuk, was building aggression among supporters of that coalition who were supposed to unleash their aggression after the elections.

It was very important that the elections ended peacefully and democratically, he said, adding that it was in the interests of the Left parties for the vote to be fair and just because if there were no manipulation the Left would certainly win.

Source: B92

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