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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 4 PM), January 4, 1997

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1997 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 4 PM


    The Serbian opposition won the elections in eight Belgrade
    constituencies and in the City Assembly, Melissa Fleming, the OSCE
    spokeswoman stated today and added that Gonzalez's representative,
    Jorge Descalar, made himself very clear on that question during
    yesterday's OSCE session. Although Gonzalez's report does not
    mention who won the majority in the City Council, Fleming
    underscored that everything was clarified at yesterday's Vienna
    session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
    Europe. Gonzalez's OSCE report explicitly states that the
    opposition coalition Zajedno won in another 13 cities in Serbia.


    In his traditional Christmas message, the Patriarch of Serbian
    Orthodox Church, His Holiness Pavle reminds that in ``the
    fourteenth century, emulating the best laws of Byzantium, Emperor
    Dusan set the foundations of the law for the then state of Serbia.
    He put law above himself... and ordered the judges to judge
    according to the law, without paying heed to who is who...''
    ``That legal principle, dating back to 600 years ago, should be
    valid today, when democratic freedoms are being proclaimed
    everywhere. Respect for law and justice makes everyone obliged to
    respect the will of the people, preventing willful rule and
    violence which can bring nothing good to the state and the
    people,'' added the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


    The Democratic Party today released an official statement which
    warns that the ruling Socialist Party has introduced police rule
    in the country, as evidenced by the extremely heavy police
    presence in the cities where opposition protests have been held
    and where the police have begun blocking street demonstrations.
    The statement goes on to say, ``What we, the opposition
    politicians, are asking the authorities, is this: why do they
    abuse and maltreat the police officers, who are aware that they
    are in the streets without any reason and that they are being
    abused for political reasons. The Democratic Party therefore calls
    on all members of the police to use their own judgment and not
    accept this abuse by the Socialist Party of Serbia.''


    Leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement Vuk Draskovic gave a
    statement for today's issue of the Belgrade daily Dnevni Telegraf
    in which, quoting unnamed but as he said reliable sources,
    Draskovic claimed that the Yugoslav Left's recommendations to
    President Milosevic which include a ``final showdown with the
    fifth column and the re-establishment of communism at any cost.''
    Draskovic also said that the Left is urging Milosevic to ``break
    up with his ideological enemies in EU, and defying America, the
    greatest outlaw of the modern world, close the borders of Serbia,
    and, with the help of its old allies destroy the fifth column.''
    Draskovic said that Milosevic and the Yugoslav Left coalition
    would like to destroy anyone in Serbia who wants a society and a
    law-abiding state based on the principles similar to those of the
    US and the European Union countries. Milosevic and his allies
    would use elements of the local underworld and well-paid civilian
    mercenaries to carry out their plan, said Draskovic. He concluded
    by adding that Mira Markovic, wife of Slobodan Milosevic and
    herself the chief leader of JUL, wants Serbia to act as the base
    for the renewal of communism in Europe.


    From tonight on, and despite a police ban, protest marches will be
    organized in the city of Leskovac again. The coalition Zajedno has
    formally lodged an appeal with the police to allow citizens'
    protest marches on the routes announced in advance. They have not
    yet received any response. Today's protest rally in Leskovac was
    attended by more than a thousand people.


    Today's issue of the daily Dnevni Telegraf reports that Nebojsa
    Covic, the Mayor of Belgrade, is stepping down because of his deep
    disagreement with the actions of his political party [the ruling
    SPS] and its coalition partner, the Yugoslav United Left (JUL).
    Quoting its usually reliable SPS sources, the daily also reports
    that Covic is expected to publicly announce his resignation some
    time today, giving his party the face-saving excuse that his
    mandate is now officially over. Covic is reported to be
    particularly unhappy with his inability to influence Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic, whom he has repeatedly asked to
    desist from his policy of militant defiance of Serbia's democratic
    forces, and is said to have been considering his resignation ever
    since the election crisis began over a month ago.


    Albania today lodged an official demand with the Serbian
    Government to allow the OSCE to send its mission to the southern
    Serbian province of Kosovo once again. An OESCE mission has
    already been in Kosovo, but the Serbian authorities refused to
    extend its mandate in 1993, compelling the OSCE to withdraw its
    mission there. Albanian officials also expressed their
    dissatisfaction that so far the Serbian authorities have
    recognized the election results only in part.


    Deafening noise was heard in many areas of Belgrade and Novi Sad
    at 7:30 last night, coinciding with the main news bulletin of the
    state-run RTS television. Radio B92 received numerous e-mails from
    listeners describing the atmosphere in the city. People banged on
    their kettles, drainpipes, window sills, cutlery, balcony rails,
    etc. trying to make as much noise as possible to symbolically
    drown out the RTS news bulletin, which has been one of the
    regime's chief propaganda weapons. Many Belgraders put their radio
    loudspeakers on the windowsills of their apartments and ``street-
    broadcast'' Radio B92 programs instead.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/

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