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Protests in Serbia Archive
News from Serbian Renewal Movement, Dec 16 and 17

December 17, 1996.

press conference of Serbian Renewal Movement

At today's press conference, Ivan Kovacevic, spokesman of the Serbian Renewal Movement /SRM/, said that it is the 28th day of protests and that the coalition Zajedno will not give up further demonstrations until the will of the people expressed in the second round of municipal elections is recognized.

When questioned on the restoring of election results in Nis, Smederevska Palanka in favor of coalition Zajedno, Mr. Kovacevic said that the latest court rulings are quite fair and that he hopes the courts in other towns will act in the same way.

Commenting on the fact that demonstrators carried flags of some foreign countries, he said, this is how people demonstrate their desire to become part of Europe, part of normal, developed World.

SRM gives support to the announced workers' protest as it is justified and based on hardships they are suffering - Mr. Kovacevic said, referring to today's workers' rally staged before the Serbian parliament.

In his comment on the OSCE commission visit to this country, Kovacevic said that its members should mainly be law experts rather than politicians, adding that its task should be to establish the facts, in which case its visit would be short.

OSCE commission to visit Belgrade

The Council of Europe has shown a great interest in recent developments in Serbia and prospects for the solution of the current political crisis caused by the annulment of election results, giving victory to the coalition Zajedno in the second round of vote for local and municipal authorities.

European diplomats are quoted as saying that the events in Belgrade and Serbia are at the center of attention of Europe. They also express their support for democratic processes in Serbia.

Coalition Zajedno is agreed on the OSCE commission visit, emphasizing that such a commission should be given a clear, open mandate to establish the facts relating to the complete election process.

workers join the protests today

Today at 12 a.m. workers in Serbia rose in protest. Dissatisfied, in the first place, with their difficult economic position, as well as with the new package of proposals to be passed by the Serbian parliament today, a large crowd of workers gathered in front of the Serbian parliament building.

In their demand, trade union members request representatives to reject the passage of these bills which, according to them, are "anti-workers, anti-human and anti-existence".

The workers' protest is expected to be joined by workers from numerous organizations coming from the rebelling towns in Serbia.

Miners are under special pressure, because the authorities in this country feel threatened in case these workers take to streets.

United trade union "Nezavisnost" /Independence/, the largest trade union in the country, has invited all workers to voice their protest, to speak openly about the situation in which they live and work, and to request that the republican parliament put the following demands on the agenda without delay: payment of wages due for the past months, return to work and establishing the rule of law.

Coalition Zajedno and the students of University of Belgrade give the backing to the workers' protest.

Serbian supreme court recognized victory of coalition Zajedno

According to the Serbian Renewal Movement Service Information Office, Serbian Supreme Court has today reversed the decision of the second municipal court in Belgrade by which the second round of vote was annulled in district Savski Venac, because "the mandate of the district election commission had expired." The court rejected the appeal for additional reexamination of the decision lodged by the Socialist party of Serbia./

This shows that the Supreme Court, after a number of manipulations with election results, has obviously recognized the victory of the coalition Zajedno in that district.

Serbian Renewal Movement Information Service

Monday, December 16, 1996.

Nis: court accepts complaint lodged by coalition Zajedno

Municipal court in Nis has announced nullification of the decision brought by the Local Electorial Commission concerning the election of the members of the city council in twenty-six polling stations due to a number of procedural errors.

In the decision sent to the commission it was requested that within ten days the election results be revised according to the law.

The Coalition's request that candidates in nineteen polling stations be officially acknowledged without delay has been rejected by Municipal court saying the matter was not within its jurisdiction.

In his comments, prof. Dr. Ivan Kovacevic, spokesman of the Serbian Renewal Movement, said that the coalition Zajedno will continue to seek recognition of the second round of voting, for despite the obvious election fraud intended to steal our votes, this could not be done as we were in possession of complete documentation.

students of Nis University marching toward Belgrade

A group of students of the University of Nis set off for Belgrade yesterday. They are carrying official records from seventeen election stations in which the local election commission pronounced candidates of the Socialist Party of Serbia as winners of the election.

They decided to go to Belgrade because, as they say, they must be prepared to do the impossible in order to get what their peers in other countries acquire by birth, and because they wish to demonstrate that they prefer freedom and justice to bread. The students hope that after forty-eight hours of marching they will deserve to have a fifteen minute talk with president Milosevic.

Kornblum conferred with Vuk Draskovic

In Geneva yesterday, Mr. John Kornblum, special American envoy for former Yugoslavia, conferred with Vuk Draskovic, president of Serbian Renewal Movement and members of Civic Alliance of Serbia and Democratic Party.

Mr. Kornblum is quoted as saying after the meeting that the United States backs the democratic processes in Serbia, adding that president Milosevic is expected to do the same as a precondition for any further improvement in the relations between the U.S. and Serbia.

"The Dayton agreement is in jeopardy and Milosevic must be stopped. He must, first of all, begin to think in a democratic way and recognize the will of the people expressed in the election" -- said Vuk Draskovic, president of the Serbian Renewal Movement.

Serbian Renewal Movement Information Service

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