News for February 19th, 1997

The protest of the Belgrade students against the citizen's electoral will is entering its 90th day. The protest of the Belgrade students will last until the last mandate is verified according to the original records of the second ballot of the local elections, criminal charges are brought against those who took part in the electoral theft and Dragutin Velickovic, Chancellor of the Belgrade University resigns, stated Dusan Vasiljevic spokesman for the Student Protest '96/97. Vasiljevic stated at the press conference that the main board came to this decision after yesterday's meeting with the minister of education of Serbia, Jovo Todorovic, who "offered for Velickovic to resign after the students return to class and gave broad answers".

The protest of the citizens of Sabac against the annulment of the results of local elections will continue, because the Electoral Committee in that town has refused to implement the special law by which the results of local elections were recognized according to the OSCE report.

The representatives of the Serbian government talked to the negotiation team of the syndicate of the pre-school employees of Belgrade who have been in strike the past 10 days, demanding the increase of wages from 220 to 504 dinars. These were the first negotiations with the government since the strike began.

More than 5,000 education workers gathered today at 12 o'clock in front of the building of the Serbian government because there has still not been an agreement regarding the demands of the education workers for higher wages and the payment of late salaries because of which most of the schools in Serbia has been in strike since the beginning of the second semester. Jagos Bulatovic, the president of the Independent syndicate of education in Serbia, informed the gathered citizens that a request had been made to the Serbian Government yesterday to receive the educators' negotiating team, but the respond of the Government's representative was that there would be no negotiations in future.

The presiding over the Counsil of Deans and managers of the Institutes of the Belgrade University, professor Fedor Zdanski scheduled the session of the Counsil for 11 o'clock at the School of Electrical Engineering. The Counsil was formed on January 30, at which time the Deans and directors stoped all contact with the Chancellor, Dragutin Velickovic, who they find responsible for the crises of the University.

Jovo Todorovic, the republic Minister of Education, stated today that the talks with the delegation of Belgrade University Deans are held with the aim of finding ways for the normalization of lectures and solving the problems at the University, reports RTS (State Radio-television Network) today. Todorovic said that it is necessary to provide the conditions for the resumption of lectures, because otherwise the school-year would be lost for the students, which, according to him, is "unacceptable for everyone".

Radmila Tomic, a member of the Syndicate of nursery school employees in Belgrade, accused today the Serbian Government of attempting to shift the responsibility for the current grave position of people employed in nursery schools onto the new city authorities in Belgrade.

The part-time employees of Radio-television Politika, who have been on strike for six days already, accused today the management of that company of conducting the business contrary to the market rules, and demanded the resignations of Goran Kozic, editor-in-chief.

The president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) Vojislav Kostunica stated that "the basis for the attack on DSS is the attempt to force this party into the coalition Zajedno". "Zajedno is trying to force the view that the only alternative to the regime and so doing create a two party system" said Kostunica in the interview to today's Blic.

Vojislav Kostunica, president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) said today that there is not enough demands of the county boards of this party of the scheduling of an extraordinary session of the Assembly of DSS, but that a session of the Main Board will be scheduled within a reasonable period.

The president of the directive of the Yugoslav Left, Mirjana Markovic said the interests of the workers can only be achieved by the left and that "they very well know it".

A group of 37 delegates of the Socialist Party of Serbia in the Parliament of the County of Leskovac, sealed their resignations and announced the founding of the delegates group of citizens. The decision was made after hours of discussion at the session of this group of SPS, which numbered 48 delegates and at which the mayor of Leskovac, Gojko Velickovic was to be expelled from the party.

The proposal of the president of Yugoslavia, Zoran Lilic for Radoje Kontic, the Prime Minister to be the new mandatory of the Federal government, arrived today in the Yugoslav Parliament.

Bora Kuzmanovic, spokesman of the Democratic Center (DC) expressed the delight of this party for the forming of the local authorities in all the counties and cities which were the subject of post-election dispute between the authorities and the opposition. "We will be a constructive opposition. We will not define the task to be against, but we will criticize what need criticizing.

The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) will suggest Nebojsa Covic, former Mayor of Belgrade, for the president of the city government, announces the "Blic" newspaper in its tomorrow's issue, relying on its sources among the highest SPO officials. The newspaper reports that Covic does not have an unanimous support of SPO members, adding, however, that most of them, including president Vuk Draskovic, believe that, at the moment, Covic is the best candidate for this high position.

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