From: BPT_BG@ZAMIR-BG.ztn.apc.org (Balkan Peace Team) Sender: BALKAN-PEACE-TEAM@BIONIC.zerberus.de (Foerderver. Balkan Peace Team) Subject: Election report - Balkan Peace Team - Belgrade Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:48:00 +0100
About a 120 parties were running. There are quite a few small parties but they do not have an impact. They do take up a lot of media time, however, so the more serious contenders, like the Zajedno coalition got less access. The biggest coalition, called Left, is made of the Socialist Party of Serbia, with its leader, Slobodan Milosevic; Yugoslav United Left, with its leader, Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic and Nova Democratia with its leader Dusan Michaelovic. Also running was the Serbi- an Radical Party with its leader, Vojislav Seselj and the coalition Zajedno consisting of the Serbian Movement of Renew- al with Vuk Draskovic, the Democratic Party of Zoran Dindic, the Civic Alliance with Vesna Pesic at its top and the Demo- cratic Party of Serbia with Vojislav Kostunica. The Social Democtratic Union, led by Zarko Korac, only participated in the local elections. This is the party a lot of people among NGO's are supporting.
The party of Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic, had a very
interesting campaign using young rap artists to sing their
slogans. This way they got a lot of attention. They used;
JUL JE COOL - JUL IS COOL
LEPO, LEPSE, LEVO - BEAUTIFUL, MORE BEAUTUFUL, LEFT
MI ZNAMO NAJKRACI PUT - WE KNOW THE SHORTEST WAY
Nova Democratia used only one slogan, EVO RUKE - LET'S SHAKE HANDS
Seselj's party, the Radical Party, used a very simple slogan; VREME JE - IT IS TIME.
The Serbian Renewal Movement of the Zajedno coalition had the slogan: NAS JE VISE meaning WE ARE MORE.
All these slogans were used on TV. They were also used on political campaign posters and handouts.
In the week before the last week of of the elections the RTS
showed 71 promotional spots for the SPS-JUL-ND coalition,
adding up to a total of 99.18 minutes. The Zajedno coalition
received in the same week only 6 spots with a total of 3.40
minutes. In only one of these spots, a Zajedno leader (Vuk
Draskovic) turned for 9 seconds directly to the viewers,
whereas SPS-JUL-ND leaders were granted 61.58 minutes for
addressing the viewers directly.
Seselj's party was only broadcast when criticising the Zajedno coalition.
When Zajedno rallies were mentioned on TV at all, reporters would be present well before the rally started, thus showing a few early supporters and presenting them as the total crowd.
Additionally the new districts were laid out in a way to cut through ethnic regions and traditional majorities and to link them up as much as possible with Serb neighbourhoods, making sure of Serb majorities. For instance, in Vojvodina, traditionally a region with a large Hungarian population, which this year campaigned with a regional Vojvodina coalition, was divided into 3 districts. In a second run, votes of smaller parties which did not get a seat would be proprotionally given to the larger parties. This always favours the party with the most seats already, especially since the the SPS voters are more disciplined; they always go to vote.
In the town Pancevo, in the regions of Vojvodina, there were
additional regional elections, so people had to cope with 4
voting lists. In one place a set of the four different lists
was exhibited and explained. An activist reported that at one
election poll, where loud "Turbo-folk" was playing (a type of
folkloristic pop music that is usually linked up with a Serb
Activists predicted a large scale non-participation, at least for federal elections.
The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) got one seat. This is an Albanian party. Albanians in Kosov@ were not voting, but in South Serbia the Albanian population was voting, especially on a local level.
Results from Montenegrin parties: DPS (Democratic Party of Socialists got 20 seats, the NS (National Party) 8, and the SDP (Social Democratic Party) 1.
NASA BORBA reported that Zajedno's public relation officer found a lot of violations in the election process, from physical harassment of voters to obstructing the SPO members of the election commission from control of the ballots. Some days before the election SPO members went on a hunger strike for that reason.
Other irregularities were reported from some places: incorrect composition of the election commissions; SPS propagandamaterial being handed out right in front of the election polls; and loud music being played in the polls. In one case the mayor of a town gave a propaganda speech right at the polls. At a polling place in Vranjska Banja they did not have the SPS candidate's name on the list. Those votes were canceled.