[Menu] [dDH]   If you came here via a search engine looking for news: remember that search engines are never 'up to date'. But you are close, try our front door

Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 2 PM), January 15, 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 2 PM


    A session of the UofB Governing Council began at 10 a.m. today.
    The council is to discuss the student demand for the replacement
    of the UofB rector as well as that of his student assistant. The
    agenda also includes discussion of the conclusions of the recent
    UofB staff session regarding the demands of the Student Protest
    96/97, as well as the current situation at the university. Today's
    student gathering began also at 10 a.m. this morning, in front of
    the Belgrade Rectorate Building, reports FoNet.


    Michael McCurry, spokesman for the White House, expressed
    skepticism about the announcement yesterday that the opposition
    victories in the City Councils of Belgrade and Nis have been
    recognized. He said that this seems like a positive move but
    stressed that it remains to be seen whether those who have been
    rightfully elected will be able to assume their offices, AFP
    reports. He also said the US administration is waiting to
    determine whether the Belgrade authorities will respect the
    recommendation by the Organization for Security and Co-operation
    in Europe pertaining to the democratization of the civil
    institutions in FR Yugoslavia.


    A panel on the issues concerning local elections, electoral laws
    and the role of the media in the electoral process began its work
    in the Serbian Parliament last night. It was broadcast live on
    Channel 2 of Radio Television Serbia. Representatives of the
    Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the New Democracy (ND), the
    Democratic Union of Vojvodina Hungarians (DZVM) and the Party of
    December 1 took part in the panel. Representatives of the leading
    opposition parties did not appear on the panel. Opening the
    discussion on the rules of procedure to be used by this panel, SPS
    secretary general, Gorica Gajevic proposed that 3 issues be
    entered into the panel's agenda -- the role of the media,
    electoral laws and modes of political organizations. She once
    again called on the representatives of the parliamentary
    opposition parties to attend the panel. She announced that the
    panel will make decisions by consensus and that their
    implementation will be carried out through state institutions.
    Svetozar Krstic, ND representative, insisted that the situation
    which has developed after the second local electoral round be also
    included and stressed that the ND will not participate in the
    panel until the Zajedno representatives join the discussion. The
    session concluded that the first issue on the panel's agenda will
    be the current problems pertaining to the local elections. Andras
    Agaton, leader of the DSVM, informed the panel participants today
    that his party will not take part in the discussions until Zajedno
    representatives appear and that Sandor Pal, who was on the panel
    last night, has no authority to represent the DSVM as he was
    expelled from the party last December.


    The executive board of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS)
    convened a special session yesterday to discuss the current
    political situation in Serbia. Nebojsa Covic, the outgoing
    Belgrade mayor was expelled from the party, and Branislav Ivkovic,
    head of the SPS Belgrade branch was removed from the executive
    board. Dragan Tomic, speaker of the Serbian Parliament, was given
    Ivkovic's former post as the head of the SPS Belgrade branch.
    Changes in the SPS top cadre were made with the aim of
    strengthening the SPS political activities and its internal
    organization, ``especially in the light of the commitments made
    [by the SPS] in the recent [local] elections, in which the SPS got
    a firm support of the citizens.''  The board announced that, ``in
    the atmosphere of great pressure from abroad and the aggressive
    action of a part of the opposition,'' the SPS is in favor of
    finding solutions to all problems by working through the
    legitimate state institutions. ``The SPS will intensify its
    activities in strengthening and democratizing the Republic of
    Serbia's institutions, especially with the aim of implementing the
    program of reforms and huge property and structure changes to be
    carried out this year,'' concluded the statement of the SPS
    executive board, reported by the Belgrade media last night.


    Dragan Radulovic, president of the Association of the Independent
    Trade Unions of Yugoslavia (SSSJ), has sent a letter to Yugoslav
    Prime Minister Radoje Kontic, warning that the basic aims of the
    Yugoslav economic policy for 1997 -- ensuring the stability of
    prices, improving the dinar's rate of exchange and increasing the
    standard of living -- have been seriously threatened. The letter
    urged that the Yugoslav prime minister, together with his republic
    counterparts, issue immediately an assessment of the latest
    economic situation and undertake measures to prevent further
    unfavorable developments, reports FoNet. The trade union
    association objected to the drastic increases in the prices of
    basic foods and telecommunication tariffs and called on the
    federal and republic premiers to investigate whether these were
    justified. ``Considering the overall economic, social and
    political situation in the country, we demand your prompt action
    and efficient solutions,'' the letter concluded.


    Slobodan Vucetic, member of the Constitutional Court of Serbia,
    today told the Belgrade daily Demokratija that the Belgrade
    Electoral Commission's decision to acknowledge the preliminary
    results of the second local electoral round is a result of orders
    given by a panicky Serbian leadership. Vucetic fears that this
    move is aimed at confusing both the Organization for Security and
    Co-operation in Europe, which gave the Serbian authorities the
    deadline of January 16 to implement its recommendations, and the
    mass democratic movement in Serbia. He predicts that after January
    16, the authorities will simply cancel the Electoral Commission's
    ruling by using other state and judicial institutions.


    Dusan Mihajlovic, head of the New Democracy (ND), told the
    Belgrade daily Blic today that this party has no obligations to
    its coalition partner the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). Asked
    whether his party was closer to the SPS and the Yugoslav United
    Left (JUL) [its former coalition partners], or to the coalition
    Zajedno, Mihajlovic said the question should be put to these
    parties rather then to his. He stated that the ND is an
    independent party, ``which does not need alliance with any other
    political organizations,'' but ``which is in favor of co-operation
    with all democratic organizations in the interests of the
    citizens, the state and democracy.''


    Momcilo Krajisnik, representative of the Republic of Srpska (RS)
    in the Presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina, has met with a delegation
    of the Executive Council of the Serb Region of Eastern Slavonia,
    Baranja and Western Srem, reports the Republic of Srpska news
    agency SRNA.  Dragan Bosanjic, deputy foreign minister in Bosnia
    Herzegovina Ministerial Council, and Robert Bicroft, US ambassador
    in the Contact Group, also attended the meeting. At a press
    session held afterwards, Bosanjic informed the press that the
    Republic of Srpska is gravely concerned over the situation in
    Eastern Slavonia because the peace in the region is in great
    jeopardy and the Eastern Slavonian Serb population is threatened
    with another exodus. According to Bosanjic, the exodus would
    seriously endanger the implementation of the Dayton accords and
    the Republic of Srpska has therefore turned to US ambassador
    Bicroft for help, since the US has been a major participant in the
    peace process in Bosnia. He stressed that the Republic of Srpska
    intends to call on both Belgrade and Zagreb to join the efforts to
    preserve the peace in this region.


    Rorry O'Sullivan, chief of the World Bank's mission in Bosnia, has
    expressed his optimism about the likelihood of international
    community's providing 1.4 billion US dollars necessary for the
    reconstruction of Bosnia this year. AFP reports that O'Sullivan
    considers last week's conference of donors as an unqualified
    success. He stressed that in order to qualify for international
    aid all parties in Bosnia must carry out the commitments they made
    by signing the Dayton accords.


    Croatia has agreed to join the US initiative for economic co-
    operation in South-Eastern Europe, reports Reuters. After his
    talks with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Richard Shifter,
    member of the US National Defense Council, that they have agreed
    on the basic framework of the US proposal for co-operation in
    South-Eastern Europe. He specified that Tudjman has agreed to co-
    operate on economic and environmental issues only. Croatian Prime
    Minister Hrvoje Sarinic said after the meeting that Croatia is
    ready to accept the initiative but only as far as building the
    electricity relays, gas pipelines and roads. He said that Tudjman
    has made it clear that any idea of a union or an association is
    out of the question. Croatia and Slovenia have been the only
    former Yugoslav republics to refuse preliminary membership in the
    initiative for the co-operation of 12 Balkan states.


    Slavko Drljevic, vice-president of the Montenegrin government,
    told the news agency Montena Fax that it was thanks to the
    intervention of the Montenegrin government that further fall of
    the dinar has been prevented. He said that the Council of the
    National Bank of Yugoslavia is to convene on January 17.
    Representatives of the Federal and Republic governments are to
    participate in this session to establish the causes of the recent
    devaluation of FR Yugoslavia's currency. He stressed Montenegro's
    determination to oppose any further issuing of new money as a
    means of satisfying the demands of the public sector.


    The Belgrade agency Beografitti has carried out a public opinion
    poll to determine who Belgraders would vote for if republic level
    elections were called in a week's time. According to the results
    of this poll, 30.88% Belgraders would vote for Zajedno, 14.93% for
    ``a new party formed by the organizers of Student Protest 96/97,''
    9.42% for ``a new party comprising the personalities I trust.''
    These ``trusted personalities'' were in most cases Nebojsa Covic
    [now former member of the Socialist Party of Serbia], Dragoslav
    Avramovic [former manager of the National Bank], Nikola Milosevic
    [member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences and leader of
    Serbian Liberal Party], Kosta Cavoski [member of the Serbian
    Liberal Party], Milan St. Protic [historian], Dusan Kovacevic
    [playwright] and Vladeta Jankovic [university lecturer].  8.38% of
    Belgraders would cast their votes for the left coalition of the
    Socialist Party of Serbia, the Yugoslav United Left and the New
    Democracy. The same percentage would opt for the Serbian Radical
    Party, reports FoNet.

    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/

[Menu] [dDH]