News for February 9th, 1997

Serbian Parliament Speaker, Dragan Tomic, stated on Sunday that Milosevic's proposed special law on the recognition of the results of the local elections was a sign of a good will towards the international community and that it was not a capitulation as the opposition had claimed.

President of the Serbian Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj, stated that his party will not join the Serbian government. "The Prime Minister did not call me, and if he did, I would not accept," said Seselj.

Roughly 600 citizens of Novi Becej protested last night supporting the students and citizens of Belgrade, who demand recognition of local election results, freedom of media and democracy in Serbia. Protest marches, which have been going on in Novi Becej since February 5, are the first forms of protest against the government since the Revolution of 1848 in this city, said Pecarski.

A caravan numbering hundreds of cars containing citizens and supporters of the coalition Zajedno started today from Kraljevo towards Cacak. They started towards Cacak where they will hold a joint protest rally in front of the cultural center.

The coalition Zajedno invited the principals of elementary and high schools to stop "harassing the striking teachers". "By protecting the regime which humiliated the teachers, the principles loose the respect they will need in the future", it was stated in the announcement.

In the sports arena "Jezero" a soccer match will be held between the representatives of the newly elected delegates and officials of the coalition Zajedno and the team of the students of the University of Kragujevac. The match "Students against the authorities" will be organized by the Student Protest '96/97 and sponsored by the city. All the profits are intended for the orphan home "Mladost" and the monastery in Prekopaci.

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ratko Markovic stated today that the "lex specialis", which is supposed to acknowledge the results of the second ballot of the local elections, is conceived on a "indisputably constitutional basis". He said that by the Constitution, the government in authorized to give legal proposals to the Parliament "which it did in this case in the manner stated in the Constitution and Parliamentary procedures." He also stated that the "lex specialis" is temporal in its character, which means that the law is for one time use.

The students of Nis estimated that the "lex specialis" must not be the "abolition for he people who broke the law and Constitution and who should be responsible for their actions".

The organization of the independent syndicate of workers at the Belgrade University (ONSRBU) appealed to the employees of the schools and institutes of both Belgrade universities to strike against the "catastrophic and humiliating" position of the employees of education and science.

The Main Board of the Civic Alliance of Serbia (GSS) elected Aleksandra Posarac for the vice-president and Dragor Hiber of the president of the Executive Board of the GSS, stated this party today. The statement of GSS states that the Main Board estimated that the relations within the coalition Zajedno are correct and that they depend on the clear common goals. The Main Board of GSS stated their admiration of the Student Protest '96/97 and its endurance in their democratic demands.

Dragan Markovic, delegate of the Socialist Party of Serbia in the County Parliament of Sabac tried to disperse the supporters of the coalition Zajedno with his car, and then threatened the gathered demonstrators with a fire arm.

Representatives of the coalition Zajedno expressed their serious doubt in intentions of the president of Serbia and return the electoral results without manipulations. The rally of the coalition Zajedno ended a bit after 5 o'clock and as the previous days, the police prevented the citizens to go for the protest walk.

Doctor Milena Jaukovic visited today in the name of the coalition Zajedno, Ljiljana Djuknic, who was beaten by the police on February 2 on Zeleni Venac, stated the Democratic Party (DS). A number of officers beat Djuknic, and broke her forearm and caused serious body injuries. Djuknic is presently at the Trauma clinic in Belgrade, and will be operated on Wednesday.

Citizens of Belgrade flooded corners in different parts of the city, where they nicely protested the reports of the RTS News.

A few thousand citizens of Nis protested today for the 84th time against the annulment of the results of the local elections at the central city square.

Milan Mirkovic, delegate of the people of the Serbian Renewal Movement stated tonight at the 67th protest gathering in Leskovac that the government of Serbia is burdening the weakened Serbian economy by constantly increasing taxes.

The independent syndicate of pre-school workers appealed the employees in all kindergartens to cease working tomorrow. The reason for the strike are late salaries and extremely low wages.

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