News for December 6th, 1996

More than 100,000 citizens gathered today on Republic Square, after the protest walk through the center of Belgrade. On the 17th day of the protest, the demonstrants passed by the buildings of Serbian Parliamebt, of Serbian Radio-Television and of "Politika". A big puppet representing President Milosevic in a convict's attire was put ont the vehicle carryng the loudspeakers.

Around 30,000 Belgrade students protested today. They have been demonstrating for 13 days now, demanding the forming of the Republic Electoral Committee on the parity basis, which would establish the accurate electoral results. The students also demand the resignation of Dragutin Velickovic, Chancellor of Belgrade University, and of Vojin Djuric, Student Vice-Chancellor.

Dragoslav Avramovic, former Governer of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, greeted the Belgrade students on Friday. "I support the students; they are struggling for their rights. I walk with them every day."

Aleksandar Tijanic, the Minister of Information in Serbian government, stated today that he had submitted his irrevocable resignation from that post, and that he had informed Mirko Marjanovic, the Prime Minister, about this decision. Tijanic added that his resignation "Is of no politocal import, so it has nothing to do with the current protests in Serbia.

A few thousand of citizens of Kragujevac continued today the protests provoked by the annulment of electorial results. These protests are a sign of support to the cities where people also demonstrate for the same reasons.

Around 20,000 citizens gathered today (the 12th day) in Nis at the protest provoked by the annulment of the results of local elections. "The socialists stole everywhere, but it was in Nis that they did it most unscrupulously. Now they are trying to back off, but we shall not be so easily satisfied", said Vojislav Mihajlovic, vice-president of Serbian Parliament, at the rally.

Some 15,000 students and secondary-school pupils tok to the streets of Novi Sad today, showing their solidarity with the protests of the "Zajedno" coalition. Around 100 profesors of the University of Novi Sad joined the students and signed the message of support, while some of them addressed the gathering in front of the School of Philosophy.

Yugoslav Association for Constitutional Law stated today their disapproval of all attempts of the authorities to prevent the citizens from expressing their electional will, "by using illicit and illiterate means, and by violating the Constitution and the laws."

Heads of diplomacies of European Union, at their session in Brussels, criticized "non-democratic behaviour of the authorities in Belgrade in connection with the local elections" and expressed their "great admiration for the peaceful demonstrations" of the people in Serbia, stated today Dick Spring, Irish minister, the chairman of the Council of Ministers of European Union.

The independent radio Boom 93 in Pozarevac is still off the air as its transmitter has not been switched on as yet. Boom 93 has been off the air for the last three days.

The Electoral Headquarters of the Serbian Democratic Party said today that they have been unofficially informed that the Serbian Supreme Court is in session today, following the demands of coalition Zajedno that the courts re-examine the decision of the First Municipal Court which has annulled the results of the second round of local elections in Belgrade.

Coalition Zajedno feels that they have full legal grounds to expect the Supreme Court to annul that decision and to submit the case to the first-level court to examine it. The Belgrade Electoral Commission, acting independently of Zajedno coalition, has also sent a similar demand to the Supreme Court of Serbia.

Today Radio B92 received support from the Zagreb-based independent radio station '101', which experienced a similar predicament in Croatia a week ago.

The School of Mathematics and Biology joined Student Protest '96 in Belgrade today. At the same time, the 1000th professor of the Belgrade University signed the petition in support of their students.

Presidency of the Association of Dramatic Artists of Serbia condemned today the "usurpation of civic rights and disregard for the Constitution and democratic principles, and therefore called upon its members to respond and suggest to the theatres all across Serbia to express their support for the media and the opposition protests by cancelling all performances due to be held on Tuesday, Dec 10, 1996."

At 20:00, Belgrade Cinema REX will screen the documentary "Do jaja" (Getting the Eggs), produced by the Radio B92. The producer said today that this is the first documentary on the current "yellow revolution" in Serbia.

President of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov expressed his concern over the latest developments in Belgrade today. "Those who are responsible for the situation in Yugoslavia must find enough strength and courage to accept the results of democratic processes.", said Gligorov in Skopje today.

As the peaceful demonstrations in Belgrade continue, German media are taking a sterner tone in their comments on Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Their criticism is now addressed to their own government as well, urging it to condemn Milosevic. The German press is particularly critical of Bonn's alleged stand that sees Milosevic as a guarantor of peace and stability in the Balkans.

From the Internet Classroom of Radio B92, mediated by INTERNEWS Agency, a live video link was established between Belgrade and Brussels today. The video will be offered to a number of TV stations around the world.

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