Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis 2000
We will stay together - for the victory
Comments by Serbian opposition representatives at the rally of April 14th
Goran Svilanovic, president of the Civil Alliance of Serbia: "I expect that these people who are supposed to address the crowd from the stage will understand the message of those kids coming to Belgrade from Novi Sad, namely Otpor (Resistance) activists, that this is the right moment for the change of the regime. We're capable of working together, we'll prepare for the elections, take care of a joint election list and everything else. I hope we'll be able to translate the people's will and expectations into our victory in the elections."
Milan St. Protic, co-president of New Serbia party: "This is a very successful and unique start of the final campaign for the transformation of Serbia, for the removal of Milosevic's regime in free and democratic elections, for a better future of all of us. If we continue to spread such a unified message, as we have done today, our victory is truly reachable. The citizens and opposition are mature enough to triumph in the struggle for democratic elections and finally win in them. However, it is most important for this message to continue and spread day by day throughout the country, so that we would know even before the elections that victory is ours. Only then does the great task of showing that we can truly bring a significant and pressing improvement in everyday life to the entire people, country and each individual living in it. In the name of the Alliance for Change and Nova Srbija, I have always for a unified opposition. Now young people are coming, in the form of Otpor, who are transmitting this message louder and more powerful and in greater numbers, and that is why the have had me on their side since the very beginning" Answering the question how much the rally was missing Velja Ilic, Protic said: "Velja Ilic was missing because he is the most successful mayor in Serbia and proof of how much the opposition can do when it comes to power. We tried to compensate is absence and say what he would have said, had he been here. And there will be enough opportunities. Nobody can imagine a victory in Cacak, or victory of the unified opposition without Velja Ilic. That is clear and to those who have opposed his participation today". Commenting the speech by Nenad Canak, president of the LSDV, Milan St. Protic said: "I must tell you that I am afraid for him. Nenad is a good friend of mine, even though our views are not always the same. I have always admired his courage and simple language when addressing people. I pray to God that something doesn't happen to him. We will always be beside Nenad, in good time and in bad".
Zaharije Trnavcevic, Democratic Party: "I'm very satisfied with the rally. The streets are full of people. This space has never been visited by so many people at once, who have seen what they were hoping to see - a united opposition and a ray of hope. The leaders have made a vow in public to co-operate, to stick together without letting each other down, which is a very significant act. The rally has shown that people will not accept life as they are living it today and that they want changes."
Goran Bulajic, Mayor of Sombor, Democratic Party of Serbia: "The reason I came to this rally and every other gathering since 1990 is one and the same. I hope and expect us to be rid of tyranny in Serbia. The significance of the rally is that it has demonstrated unity and massive discontent. Now it is our obligation to finish the business in each of our home towns. We have just completed a survey in Sombor which indicates that the Socialists have minor support in this city." Milorad Jovanovic, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Serbia: "The number and response, not only from Belgrade but from all over Serbia, show the will and determination of the entire people to make changes. It has taken the opposition a long time to get together and harmonize their views, but that task is finally being completed. This gathering is the crown jewel of all the a ssignments we fulfilled on the party-level. It is now up to the people and the people have come through. We wanted them to hear out messages and to express wh ether they approve or not. The response shows that the people approve what we a re asking for, and that is elections on all levels. The fight with this regime, with the support of the people is only beginning. After this gathering and a series of gatherings that are to follow the governme nt has no more arguments not to call for elections. We will apply pressure and we expect that there will be elections and change by the end of the year. The o pposition is working, not only in this way to respond to all the traps of the g overnment. The experts from all the parties are coming together, and this time there can be no surprises. We are preparing joint lists, if the elections are h eld according to the majority system. I would like to repeat that we cannot fal l into the trap of participating in partial elections. The regime would like to gain time. Both Draskovic and Kostunica have emphasized that the most importan t this is republic-level elections, because that is where all the power of auth ority lies. We will respect the position not only of Otpor, that the opposition must remain unified. The opposition is aware of this. I would like to repeat the folk prov erb - An evil year forced the eagle. We all feel this responsibility. Our team has been unchanged for a long time. We have been in the same surroundings for t en years. There was a bit of everything, there were mistakes, but I think that there is a great responsibility of all the leaders and parties. In the event of failure the opposition will no longer exist in this structure."
Source: Free Serbia
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