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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 10 PM), January 28, 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 10 PM


    Chair of the Belgrade Electoral Commission, Radomir Lazarevic,
    told a Commission meeting on Monday that a decision had been
    handed down by the First Municipal Court of Belgrade upholding
    appeals by the Socialists and Radicals. The court had thus
    annulled the commission's January 14 decision which awarded
    victory to Zajedno in the Belgrade City Assembly. The court had
    also ruled that its decision cannot be appealed. The court also
    rejected a demand that judges of the First Municipal, District and
    Supreme Courts be relieved from hearing electoral appeals and that
    a special judicial panel be appointed.

    The commission continues to insist that all its procedures since
    the November elections have been completely legal and will
    continue to be so. Mr Lazarevic denied that the commission had
    been under any direct political pressure, but said that the
    situation itself was pressure enough. He added that the Commission
    had been under a blockade from all state media.


    Student Protest Spokesman Bojan Bodganovic said on Monday that
    student action would continue on Wednesday. Students are to gather
    at their respective institutions and then proceed to the central
    square at Slavia. After a program there, the students will set off
    towards the Faculty of Philosophy unless prevented by police.


    The new City Assembly was constituted in Nis on Monday. This is
    the first non-left city government in the former socialist
    stronghold since the Second World War. Socialist deputies in the
    assembly did not attend the opening session of the new Assembly,
    stating that they wished to avoid possible party and personal

    The City Assembly numbers 70 deputies, of whom 41 are Zajedno
    representatives, 15 Socialists and 1 Radical. Verification of the
    mandates of 13 deputies has been postponed pending a Supreme Court
    hearing of a Zajedno appeal.

    Democratic Party Vice President Zoran Zivkovic was elected Mayor.
    Mr Zivkovic told a media conference after the opening session that
    the major priority for the new city government will be economic
    recovery. He announced that new legislation on local self-
    government is being drafted by the Union of Free Cities and
    Municipalities, and that this will give wider authority to local
    governments. Mayor Zivkovic also said that the new city government
    would seek protection against centralisation of government,
    announcing that Nis would discontinue payments to the republic
    until arrears owed in the area were paid out. He stressed that Nis
    would have independent media.


    Zajedno leaders announced on Monday that the daily protest rallies
    would in future begin at 8.30 pm. Citizens are expected to come to
    Republic Square from their various local marches and noise
    protests during the 7.30 news bulletin on state television.


    FoNet reports that Monday's St Sava's Day procession of thousands
    of Belgrade citizens had been seen by the US administration as
    another demonstration of public dissatisfaction with the Serbian

    US National Radio commented that the withdrawal of the police
    cordon on Monday was a temporary measure by which the Serbian
    regime sought to avoid a direct confrontation with the Orthodox
    Church. National Radio went on to put great importance on the
    visit to Belgrade of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov,
    commenting that Russia agreed with the West that democratisation
    of Serbia was essential for stabilisation on the territory of the
    former Yugoslavia and the implementation of the Dayton accords in

    AP commented that the St Sava's Day procession was further proof
    that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had only the
    paramilitary police force and the state-owned media to support his
    continued regime.


    Zajedno leader Zoran Djindjic told the daily Standard that the
    opposition would solve the problem of Kosovo by granting it
    autonomy, AFP reported on Monday.

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

    The Kosovo Human Rights and Freedom Defence Council announced on
    Monday that 14 ethnic Albanians had been killed or died from
    torture in the region during 1996. In most cases the victims had
    not been charged with criminal offences. The council also alleged
    that 1,712 Albanians were taken into custody without warrants,
    Beta reports.

    The State Union of Teachers in Serbia has announced a complete
    cessation of teaching from Tuesday. The industrial action is being
    taken in protest at the government's failure to pay salaries which
    are in arrears, Beta reports.

    Kragujevac opposition supporters held their 58th protest meeting
    in Kragujevac on Monday. Several hundred members of the
    independent trade union Nezavisnost attended the rally. A Zajedno
    spokesman announced that the General Manager of Kragujevac Water
    Supply had been replaced, because it had been established that he
    had supplied police with a bulldozer which was used to break a car
    road-block protest in the city.

    Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic met Russian Deputy
    Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Monday in Belgrade. Belgrade media
    reported that the two ministers had agreed that the issue of local
    elections in Serbia was an internal affair of the Federal Republic
    of Yugoslavia, and that the recommendations of the Gonzalez report
    indicated that this issue should be resolved through a dialogue
    and within the state.

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    Edited by: Steve Agnew

    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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