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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 11 PM), January 27, 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 11 PM


    President of the Belgrade Electoral Commission, Radomir Lazaravic
    told representatives of Student Protest 96/97 on Monday that the
    commission had received notification that the First Municipal
    Court of Belgrade had upheld the appeals of .the Socialists and
    the Radicals.

    The court decision thus annulled the commission's decision of
    January 14 to recognize Zajedno wins in Belgrade's City Council.
    The court also ruled that its decision could not be appealed.

    The electoral commission's latest demand that a special appeal
    committee be formed to replace judges in the First Municipal,
    District and Supreme courts was also rejected.

    The commission said that the rejection of their requests was not
    in accordance with the law. They concluded that their next legal
    step would be decided at a session on Tuesday.

    The commission insisted that all its rulings since the November
    local elections had been legal and that they would continue to be

    Mr Lazarevic stated that the Belgrade Electoral Commission
    criticized state media. coverage, or lack of it, of the
    commission's work. He denied that the commission had been placed
    under any direct political pressure, but added that the whole
    situation was pressure enough in itself.


    Spokesman for Student Protest 96/97, Bojan Bogdanovic, stated on
    Monday that the Student Protest would continue on Wednesday.

    Students are to gather at their respective schools of study before
    heading for Slavia junction, in central Belgrade.

    After their meeting, the students will march to the School of
    Philosophy, unless blocked by police.

    A delegation of the Student Protest is to meet with Russian Deputy
    Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov at the Russian Embassy on Tuesday,
    FoNet reported on Monday.


    The new City Council of Nis, a former Socialist strong-hold, was
    constituted on Monday.

    The Zajedno city government will be the first non-communist one
    since the Second World War. Socialist deputies in the council did
    not attend the constitutional session; they said the reason for
    their absence was the, ``wish to avoid possible party and personal
    conflicts and unwanted incidents in front of the City Council
    building, .''

    The City Council has 70 deputies, of which 41 are representatives
    of the Zajedno coalition, 15 Socialist and 1 Radical. Verification
    of the mandates of the 13 deputies was postponed until the Supreme
    Court of Serbia rules on the Zajedno appeal.

    Zoran Zivkovic, vice-president of the Democratic Party [member of
    Zajedno] was elected the new Mayor of Nis.

    Mr Zivkovic stated in a press conference after the constitutional
    session, that the main goal for the new city government would be
    economic regeneration, FoNet reported on Monday.

    Mr Zivkovic also announced that a new law on local self-government
    would be adopted. The law is currently being drafted by the Union
    of Free Cities and Municipalities, and will give more authority to
    local government.

    Mr Zivkovic specified that the competence of city governments
    under current law only included public facilities and that all
    other areas of governance were controlled by the Serbian

    He stressed that the >new city government would find methods to
    ``protect (the city) from the republican administration.'' Mr
    Zivkovic also announced that Nis would discontinue all tax
    contributions to the republican budget until delayed child benefit
    and public company payments had been made. He also stressed that
    Nis would have its own free media.


    Zajedno leader Vuk Draskovic warned opposition supporters at
    Monday's protest rally that all those who ordered or used force
    against citizens would be held accountable.

    Mr Draskovic' political alley Vesna Pesic added: ``We don't want
    Serbia to be the last country in Europe under dictatorship. Let
    the last Bolshevik become history, for he has lost all historic

    Mr Draskovic also announced that from now on Zajedno protests
    would be held in Republic Square at 20:30 hours, beginning
    Tuesday. Citizens are expected to march to the square from all
    over Belgrade.

    When a police ban brought two months of marches in central
    Belgrade to a halt citizens started a new form of protesting
    during state television's prime time news bulletin. People all
    over the capital by banged drums, saucepans and blew whistles to
    drown out what they called the din of state propaganda. Over the
    past week and a half that protest has evolved into scattered
    marches throughout the Serbian capital. By delaying the Zajedno
    rally the opposition hope to build on these smaller protests, and
    add new energy to three months of civic demonstrations.

    After Monday's meeting, people walked along the pedestrian zone of
    Knez Mihajlova street. Those demonstrators who tried to walk
    through Kolarceva Street were blocked by police cordons, FoNet


    The US Administration urged Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
    to recognize the results of the November local elections and start
    the process of democratization immediately on Monday. The
    administration warned that failure to do so would result in
    greater international isolation of Serbia.

    U.S National Public Radio commented that the withdrawal of police
    cordons was only temporary as the Serbian regime wished to avoid
    direct confrontation with the church.

    The radio assigned great importance to the visit to Belgrade of
    the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and said that
    Russia agreed with the West that democratization in Serbia was an
    essential precondition for stabilization in the region and the
    implementation of the Dayton accords in Bosnia.

    AP commented that Monday's St Sava's procession was further proof
    that only remaining supporters of Serbian President Slobodan
    Milosevic were paramilitary police forces and the state-owned


    Opposition leader Zoran Djindjic, told the daily Standard that the
    opposition would tackle the problem of Kosovo by giving it
    autonomy which would follow on from the further democratization of
    Serbia, AFP reported on Monday.

    More than 5,000 citizens of Sabac celebrated St Sava's Day at a
    protest meeting in central Sabac on Monday.

    Kosovo Council for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms
    announced on Monday 14 ethnic Albanians were killed or died of
    torture in Kosovo during 1996. In most cases, the victims had not
    even been charged. The council also stated that during the same
    year, 5,864 ethnic Albanians were abused while 1,712 persons were
    brought into custody without any warrants, Beta reported on

    The state Union of Teachers announced strikes beginning Tuesday in
    protest at the governments continued, failure to pay December
    salaries and agree future pay rises, Beta reported on Monday

    The 58th protest meeting at November election fraud was held in
    Kragujevac on Monday. Several hundred members of the independent
    trade union Nezavisnost attended that meeting. One Zajedno
    spokesman announced that the General Manager of Water Supplies
    Company in Kragujevac was to be replaced as it had been proved
    that the bulldozer police had used to break the car road-block in
    the city had been obtained from his company, Beta reported on


    Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic met with Russian
    Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Monday, Belgrade state
    media reported.

    The two ministers agreed that the issue of local elections in
    Serbia was an internal affair of the FR Yugoslavia, and that the
    recommendations of the Gonzalez report indicated that this issue
    should be solved through dialogue and within the state
    institutions, an official statement after the meeting said.


    ``We got first-hand information on Zajedno's position on possible
    solution to the current situation [in Serbia]. It was important to
    hear that the coalition is in favor of constructive dialogue
    between chief police forces in Yugoslavia in order to end the
    crisis... Our position is that this [Gonzalez] report has a
    constructive character and that the implementation of its
    conclusions represents a way out of the current situation. Russia
    is in favor of Yugoslavia finding a way out of the current
    situation, in the interest of preserving [its] unity and of
    democratic reform. This is in keeping with the interests of both
    Yugoslavia and Russia, as well as in the interests of stability in
    the Balkans and wider security in Europe,'' Igor Ivanov, Russian
    Deputy Foreign Minister, stated after his meeting with Zajedno


    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, also held
    discussions with Vojislav Kostunica, leader of the Democratic
    Party of Serbia (DSS), on Monday. The DSS information service
    stated after the meeting that the two had agreed that the
    recognition of the second round of local elections would
    contribute to the resolution of the post-electoral crisis in

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    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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