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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), December 21, 1996

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 11 PM


    Senior US diplomat and mission chief in Belgrade Max Kampelman,
    American member of the OSCE delegation which is here to examine
    the regularity of the recently held local elections, said today
    that the international fact-finding team has still not had the
    opportunity to evaluate the opposition's accusations of electoral
    fraud. He emphasized, however, that ``the evidence seems
    impressive,'' reported AFP.  ``Our aim is to strengthen democracy,
    but we cannot impose one. It has to be developed from inside the
    country. We can simply give some advice and we shall do so,''
    concluded Kampelman. Members of the delegation met representatives
    of the Belgrade City Electoral Commission today and some members
    are expected to visit Nis tomorrow.


    Former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales, head of the OSCE
    delegation in Belgrade, visited the Serbian Socialist Party today.
    Gonzales met Secretary General of SPS Gorica Gajevic. According to
    the state-controlled Radio Television Serbia, the OSCE delegation
    ``was presented with factual background on our electoral system,''
    said Gajevic. Gajevic added that data were presented to the
    delegation ``which clearly testify to the electoral victory of the
    coalition JUL [the Yugoslav United Left],'' or what the SPS
    representative also called ``the democratic forces'' in the
    November elections. ``It was stressed that SPS expects the report
    of the OSCE delegation to be objective and unbiased and that this
    would remove the false picture, which has been created for the
    international public based on false data and malicious
    interpretations of the local elections in Serbia,'' concluded the
    SPS statement today.


    Representatives of the Steering Board of the Student Protest '96
    met members of the OSCE delegation today, which has come to
    Belgrade to examine the regularity of local elections in Serbia.
    According to the Student Protest '96 Press Office, ``students
    stressed the non-party character of their protest and stated their
    demands and views on the current situation in Serbia. Members of
    the delegation said that they felt it was very important to hear
    the students' demands, for students all around the world represent
    progressive and democratic ideas,'' said the statement.


    Students from Subotica came to Belgrade on their bicycles, in
    order to express their support to their Belgrade colleagues.
    Thirty five of them were welcomed by some 10,000 UofB students.
    Many prominent intellectuals, professors, artists, and other
    public personalities addressed the students -- among others, the
    students heard the eminent historian Milan Protic as well as
    Slobodan Samardzic, Director of the Institute for European


    The Steering Board of the Student Protest '96 together with the
    Steering Board for the Defense of Democracy at the University of
    Belgrade today sent a joint demand to all officials of the
    Belgrade University who are members of any political parties to
    resign their positions.

    ``This demand came as a reaction to the statement by the Minister
    of Education in which he opposed the polarization of the
    University,'' explained Goran Milicevic, member of the Steering
    Board for the Defense of Democracy.


    The Zajedno coalition's Press Office said tonight that ``SPS is
    organizing a final counter-protest for Tuesday, to be held at the
    Republic Square in Belgrade.''

    ``According to the information we have obtained from high SPS
    officials, a meeting was held between Slobodan Milosevic, Gorica
    Gajevic and Mihalj Kertes [sometime last week] at which it was
    decided to organize a final counter-protest in support of
    Milosevic...  Buses, trains and private cars will be used to
    transport people from inner Serbia; they are expected to arrive in
    Belgrade at 10 AM.  Each bus is to have a party official, a doctor
    and an orderly. The fuel will be donated by Jugopetrol [a state-
    run company].  The protest is to take place during working hours,
    so its participants will be paid a fee for attending the rally.
    Each bus will be assigned a pre-arranged parking space somewhere
    in downtown Belgrade,'' explained the Zajedno press release.


    Several tens of thousands of Belgraders gathered at a Zajedno-
    organized protest held in the Yugoslav capital tonight. At the
    occasion, Vuk Draskovic, President of the Serbian Renewal Movement
    (SPO), said that the 'counter-protests' in support of Slobodan
    Milosevic are being carried out in such a way that ``citizens are
    forcibly bused'' to other cities whose own residents cannot be
    brought out for such rallies. The transportation used by the
    ruling party is being paid for by the state, i.e. out of the
    pockets of ordinary taxpayers themselves.

    President of the Serbian Democratic Party Zoran Djindjic said that
    President Milosevic has ``underestimated the people of this
    country,'' but added that this is ``par for the course, for
    Milosevic has been out of touch for years now.''  ``The most
    important reason we want you to step down is that you are
    incapable of leading this country,'' said Djindjic's message to
    the President of Serbia.

    Vesna Pesic, President of the Civil Alliance of Serbia said that
    Zajedno supporters do not want to clash with the citizens who
    participate in the 'counter-protests' or in any other way play
    into Milosevic's hands.


    Thirty six citizens of Lazarevac who left for Belgrade on foot
    last night arrived to Belgrade at 2:30 p.m. today and joined the
    Belgrade supporters of Zajedno in their protest walk. A group of
    100 pensioners from Pancevo also came walking to Belgrade today,
    as a sign of protest against the annulment of the second round
    election results in Serbia. Even though they asked Slobodan
    Milosevic to meet them, the group were told that the President of
    Serbia ``was not in'' today to see them.

    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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