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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (6 PM), February 6, 1997

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

    NEWS BY 6 PM


    On Thursday, opposition leader Vuk Draskovic told reporters in
    Paris, after meeting with with French Foreign Minister Herve De
    Charette, that Zajedno was ready to end three months of street
    protests in Serbia, if Serbian authorities kept their promsie to
    recognize the opposition's election victories.

    But Mr. Draskovic also warned that larger protests than ever would
    start if the opposition victories were not recognised. Mr
    Draskovic then said, with a touch of irony, that ``perhaps
    President Milosevic had only become aware of the nearly eleven-
    week long protest in Serbia a few days ago and that was why he had
    waited until now to make his decisive stand and recognise the
    disputed election results.''

    Opposition leader Vesna Pesic asked foreign media to continue to
    report the events in Serbia as the Socialists were not beyond
    seeking ``a little revenge.'' Mrs. Pesic added that recognition of
    the November election results was only a first step and that much
    remained to be done in terms of democratic reform in Serbia.

    Opposition leader Zoran Djindjic also stressed that Serbia was
    still along way from democracy.

    Herve De Charet emphasized that his invitation to Zajedno leaders
    was an act of support from the French government for their


    Yugoslav Foreign Ministry Milan Milutinovic announced on Thursday
    that the proposed law on the recognition of the election results
    listed in full those constituencies mentioned in the Organization
    for Security and Cooperation in Europe's mission report on the
    November elections.

    The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry denied claims made by some local
    media this week that two of Belgrade's constituencies had not been
    mentioned in the proposed law.


    The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe gave its
    official approval to the Serbian government's move to recognize
    the victory of the opposition in local elections last November,
    Reuters reported on Thursday.

    Chairman-in-office of the OSCE, and Danish Foreign Minister, Niels
    Helveg Petersen expressed hope that this move by the Serbian
    authorities represented a step towards democratic reform in


    Civic Alliance (Zajedno coalition member) spokesman Konstantin
    Obradovic, said that they remained sceptical of the Serbian
    government's declared intent to recognize the election results
    through a new law.

    Mr. Obradovic said that they would wait until Zajedno had
    constituted local assembies in those constituencies it won in last
    November's local elections. Mr. Obradovic concluded that his party
    still suspected President Milosevic of proposing the law for the
    benefit of the OSCE and had no intention of implementing that law.


    Belgrade University Students protested for the 77th day on
    Thursday. The students again walked unhindered by police through
    central Belgrade.

    Novi Sad University students brought teaching to a haly in all of
    the five schools at their University. The Novi Sad students said
    that lectures would continue to be blocked until all the demands
    of Student Protest 96--97 had been met.

    Nis University students sent the following letter to Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic on Thursday:

    ``Dear Mr. President,

    We are writing to you for last time. The behaviour of the Serbian
    authorities, led by You, is an insult to the dignity of all of us
    and causes a degree of bitterness and dismay which You will never
    be able to comprehend.

    Mr. Milosevic, does it take 77 days of protest for You to admit
    that electoral theft happened in this country and that the will of
    the people has been blatantly and shamefully ignored? Why did you,
    up to until now, choose to ignore the recommendations of an
    international mission [OSCE] which You yourself invited?

    Why did Serbian authorities brand their own people fascists, fifth
    columnists, internal enemies and traitors? Why did You, Mr.
    Milosevic, allow citizens, who wanted nothing more than justice,
    to be beaten on the steets?

    It is our regret that throughout the last weeks of protest You
    have preferred to turn citizens against one another and create a
    civil war out of a clear-cut problem, [rather than face what was

    There were no dead and wounded [in this protest] until Your law
    enforcers came out onto the streets of Belgrade. We consider the
    police break-in at the School of Philosophy a criminal and inhuman

    You are definitely not the man to lead this country forward. Your
    television keeps this country in an information blackout with
    lies, censorship and shamefully mis-edited footage.

    You do not want any word to be heard, except for Your own. Why
    would You do this, if you were not scared of the truth?

    You threaten rare free media and try to put them under Your
    control. The fact that You demand a 'lex specialis' (special law)
    proves that You and Your ruling oligarchy function outside of the
    realms of any rule of law. It would be much more honest, if You
    admitted that You had entangled yourself in Your own web of lies
    and deceit.''

    Prepared by: Goran Dimitrijevic
    Edited by: Julia Glyn-Pickett

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

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