Hope on the Balkans
Kostunica: We will defend ourselves
BELGRADE, Wednesday - The man the opposition calls the president-elect, Vojislav Kostunica, addressed a crowd estimated at 200,000 in central Belgrade tonight to tell them the opposition would not accept another election fraud.
The full text of his speech:
Dear, brave fellow-citizens, free people, we have won! We have won in spite of lies and Slobodan Milosevic's violence. We have won despite the sanctions we have lived under for years, despite the NATO bombs which fell last year, despite some democrats in Serbia and Montenegro who have turned their backs on us. There lies our strength, and perhaps our stubbornness, but this is the real Serbia. All of us on Sunday said what kind of Serbia we want to live in. They have once more tried to sneer at the will of the people, they have tried again to steal the elections; they have tried to bargain on the second round, but we are saying to them: there will be no second round, there is no bargaining. We are fighting for democracy and democracy is based on truth, not on lies. The truth is that we have won this election. If we were to bargain with them we would be recognising lies instead of the truth. In any case, democracy is based on the will of the people, on the will of the majority. Who are they? How many of them are left? They are a minority, a minority of those around him. The majority of the Socialists don't want to take part in the fraud. They don't want to be destroyed with him.
We are strong at this moment because we have the support of the world. Of Russia, of the European Union. This support is important but it is not decisive: what is decisive is our strength, our will, our determination to stop whims of one man. There will be no sacred individuals in this country; only the will of the people and the law will be sacred. My message to the Socialists is that we will not act as did your leaders; we will not hound people who have opposing opinions; we will not burst into other people's houses; we will not buy ruined companies; we will not remove the property of the people from the country.
My message to the army and the police is that we are one: the army and the police are part of the people, the part which defends the country, a part which should not defend only one man and his family.
Slobodan Milosevic is a tyrant who has lost his strength and the only thing left for him is to grasp one simple fact. If he did not understand it while he was in power, then he will understand it when we divorce him from power. We will defend the country, we will defend ourselves, because we have freed ourselves. September 24 was the confirmation of our deliverance.
(Photo courtesy of Free Serbia)
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