News for February 21st, 1997

The president of the Democratic Party was elected mayor of Belgrade today.

Mountain climbers climbed the dome of the City Parliament which has barren the red star since the Second World War in order to remove the star. The climbers were invited by the coalition Zajedno and their action should represent the symbolic change of rule in Belgrade.

More than 100,000 citizens of Belgrade gathered tonight at the Republic Square where the constitution of the Belgrade Parliament was celebrated together with the leaders of the coalition Zajedno who has absolute majority.

Delegates of Belgrade Parliament elected Milan Bozic, delegate of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) for the president of the Parliament, following the proposal of mayor Zoran Djidjic. Milan Bozic holds a PhD in mathematics and teaches at the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in Belgrade. The Parliament also elected Spasoje Krunic for the president of the Executive Board of the Belgrade Parliament. Krunic is an assistant at the School of Architecture in Belgrade, and member of the Main Board and Presidents cabinet of SPO.

Representatives of the Student Protest '96/97 didn't reach an agreement with the republic minister of education Jovo Todorovic regarding the change of the Chancellor of the Belgrade University Dragutin Velickovic. Cedomir Jovanovic of the Student Protest stated after the meeting that the protest continues with "equal intensity".

A few thousand education workers gathered again today in front of the Serbian government. They have been in strike for the past few weeks demanding higher wages. The president of the Belgrade Independent Syndicate of Education Workers Vukojica Vujovic informed the gathered that at the session of the syndicate held this morning it was decided that the strike would continue until the negotiation team makes an agreement with the Serbian government about higher wages. Reporters were informed that the eleventh Belgrade high school received instructions to start classes. The employees were warned that the teachers who do not hold classes will be fired, and that people from the unemployment agency will take their places.

The Association of Elementary and High School Parents of the Belgrade Schools demanded that the president of the Serbian government Mirko Marjanovic pay the money for the educator's salaries.

The new president of the city government proposed 15 members of the Executive Board of the Belgrade City Parliament. According to a previous agreement, seven will be from the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) and Democratic Party (DS) and one from the Civic Alliance of Serbia (GSS).

The county organization of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) in Pirot will hold extraordinary elections within 10 days, stated the chief of the socialists Momcilo Cvetkovic. The Main Board of SPS brought this decision on February 17 because of the bad results of the Pirot organization on the local elections and the loss of authority in this county, added Cvetkovic.

The constitutional session of the County Parliament in Kragujevac was held today in accordance with the results of the local elections held on November 17 of last year. The Parliament which has 70 members, is has 36 delegates from the coalition Zajedno, 19 from the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), 11 from the Yugoslav Left (JUL), three from the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and one from New Democracy. Rade Jovic, who isn't a member of any party but is a delegate from the coalition Zajedno was elected president of the County Parliament. Predrag Stojanovic, professor at the University of Kragujevac was elected vice-president and Miodrag Sretenovic was elected president of the Executive Board. The session was broadcast live for the first time by the Kragujevac local television.

Based on the special law which recognized the results of the November 17 local elections, the Uzice Parliament verified 67 delegate mandates - 38 for the coalition Zajedno and 29 for the Socialist Party of Serbia.

The six high schools in Leskovac which stopped work, started shortened lessons this morning based on the decision of the strike board.

The city Board of the Syndicate of Pre-school workers and education came to the decision that the minimum operation of the Belgrade pre-school institutions must be achieved immediately, it was stated in the announcement of the syndicate to the media.

Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) strongy offended the presiding of the Belgrade Parliament Radoje Prica from the coalition Zajedno during a short recess of today's constitutional session. The incident took place when the session took a break because of the sharp accusations of the delegates of SRS concerning Zoran Djidjic, president of the Democratic Party and one of the candidates of mayor.

Delegates of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and Yugoslav Left (JUL) constituted the County Parliament of Sabac again today. The ruling coalition refused to accept the special law which was adopted by the Serbian Parliament, according to which the coalition Zajedno claimed victory in the local elections. The delegates of the coalition Zajedno left the session and announced that they will constitute the city Parliament on the Liberation Square in the center of the city.

The education workers of Nis announced that they are ready to make up for lost time according to the program which they have already prepared.

The University Board for the Defence of Democracy stated today that its members, professors at the Belgrade University will start holding alternative classes from February 24 in the building of the Chancellorship. The announcement of the Board states that its members, aware of the consequences of further delay of classes, decided to start "alternative classes at THEIR university in Kapetan Misa's building". The Board estimates that any further delay of classes will not only disable the end of this school year but also the enrollment of the next generation of students. "The only obstacle for the continuation of classes is the mindless insisting of the authorities for Dragutin Velickovic to hold his position of Chancellor of BU" states the University Board for the Defence of Democracy.

Students of the Law School in Nis decided today to return to class tomorrow. They stayed longest in protest because they demanded that the dean approve two exams less as the condition for the next year, that there be no tests and for new exam periods.

The County Board of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) in Leskovac stated that it fully supports the presidents of the Party Vojislav Kostunica and his decision to expel Vladan Batic and people of his thought.

Workers employed in the health and social security institutions in Nis will go on strike tomorrow because of late payments for this and part of last year, it was decided today's session of the Branch Syndicate of employees in health and social security institutions. The decision for the strike was brought in accordance with the law and collective contract, with the securing of minimum work process.

The county board of the education syndicate in Kragujevac held a session at which the decision for the continuation of the strike was made.

The citizens of Kragujevac gathered in front of the Cross in the organization of the coalition Zajedno in order to celebrate the acknowledgement of the electoral victories of the opposition and the constitution of the city parliaments in this and other cities throughout Serbia.

The mayor of Nis Zoran Zivkovic invited the citizens tonight to show their support of the new government for the good they have done but also criticize all future mistakes. "You brought us into power and only you have the right to remove us if we are doing poorly. Milosevic can't do that, nor Markovic, nor Marjanovic" said Zivanovic at the central city square in Nis.

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