News for January 28th, 1997

The Belgrade students are organizing an action of volunteer blood donation, stated Cedomir Jovanovic, member of the Main Board of the Student Protest to the press. Belgrade students will donate blood on Wednesday after their meeting at the Slavia junction. After the donations, the students will go to the square in front of the School of Philosophy, Beta reports.

With the celebratory cutting of the cake and the St. Sava anthem, the students of the University in Kragujevac celebrated their feast at "the cross".

The police brutally beat citizens who went for the protest walk after the constitution of the County Parliament of Smederevska Palanka on the central city square.

The citizens of Belgrade walked in all parts of the city again tonight, creating great racket during the News on the National Television Network.

The Independent Education Syndicate of Serbia appealed to all its members to go on strike because of the low pay and unpaid salaries for the past two months.

Teachers in more than 300 elementary and high schools in Vojvodina started their general strike. They demand the urgent payment of their late salaries and that their future salaries will be guaranteed, and at a new higher rate. In Novi Sad only one of 35 elementary and one of 15 high schools are not in strike.

Dragan Radulovic, president of the Council of Independent Syndicates of Yugoslavia said today that the workers are in the streets beside the students and that the monthly protests express the social displeasure as well as the political.

Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) said today at the press conference that talks are being held between the heads of the coalition Zajedno about the forming of a joint branch of the coalition, but denied that the parties would join in this union. Draskovic said that not all the legal possibilities for the respect of the electoral results has been exhausted and that the electoral crises can still be solved with the institutions of the system.

The Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe doesn't plan to mediate in the conflict between the authorities and opposition in Serbia regarding the acknowledgement of the results of the local elections on November 17, last year, stated the presiding of this body, Dane Lars Vising.

The Parliament of the European Union in Strazburg will decide tomorrow on whether to hold an urgent "discussion regarding the present situation in Serbia", to which the members of the coalition Zajedno and a delegation of the ruling Socialist Party have been invited. The delegation of Zajedno, which consists of Milan Bozic from SPO, Ilija Djukic from DS and Konstantin Obradovic from GSS, arrived in Strazburg and will talk to night on a closed session with members of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council.

The 59th rally of the coalition Zajedno was held today in Kragujevac marking the protest against the annulment of the results of the second ballot of the local elections, which was followed by the protest walk o the citizens through the center of Kragujevac, when the police was not noticed. Thousands of people expressed their decisiveness not to allow Radio Television Kragujevac to stay part of Serbian National Radio-Televisions Network.

The 59th protest against the annulment of the results of the second ballot of the local elections in Sabac was attended by 4,000 citizens. The police tried to prevent the walk through the city, but the citizens divided into two groups, and while one "amused" the cordon, the other larger group walked through the city freely.

The protest gatherings of the citizens of Svilajnac have continued in spite of the official police prohibition of protest walks through this town. Today's announcement of the coalition Zajedno in Svilajnac states that the gathering passed in the sign of St. Sava's Day and that there was a protest walk took place in the pedestrian zone and was attended by more than 1,000 citizens.

Radivoje Nikolic, president of the Zajecar County Board of the Serbian Renewal Movement said today that the police department in that city did not deliver a written prohibition for the gatherings, but that the oral announcement which enables the citizens to protest only at the Liberty Square and for no longer than half an hour is still valid.

The highest leaders of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) came to an agreement that Slobodan Milosevic should be voted the new president of Yugoslavia, while the new Federal Prime Minister would be Momir Bulatovic. The heads of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia and Montenegro meet in order to overcome the deep crises in which the FRY is at the moment after the demonstrations which paralyzed life in Serbia and the Federation.

The delegates of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) in Smederevska Palanka held the Constitutional Session of the Municipal Parliament, which was not attended by the delegates of the Zajedno coalition. The delegates of the coalition Zajedno, who state that they hold 26 mandates according to the original records, held the Constitutional session in the street in front of the Municipal Parliament.

The Parliament of the County of Pirot was constituted today, and Tomislav Panajotovic candidate for the coalition Zajedno was voted as president.

The Constitutive Session of the County Parliament of the County of Lapovo, where the coalition Zajedno has the majority of 16 members, the Socialist Party of Serbia has 11 delegates (of which one has passed away) and one delegate is from the Yugoslav Left.

Ratko Vucurovic, president of the Parliament of Jagodina scheduled the Constitutional Session of the newly elected Parliament for Friday, January 31 at 9am.

Radomir Lazarevic, president of the City Electoral Committee stated today that the Committee didn't want to internationalize the problem of the local elections in Serbia, nor to create demonstrations in over 50 cities in Serbia.

Igor Ivanov, the Deputy to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs said today in his talks with the delegation of the Student Protest that the report of OSCE is a good base for the solving of the crises and the beginning for democratization in Serbia, but that the problems should be resolved within the country through democratic dialogue.

The talks of Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia and Igor Ivanov deputy to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs started at 2 o'clock in the building of the presidency of Serbia. Ivanov talked about an hour to Zoran Lilic, the president of FRY.

Miodrag Perisic, vice-president of the Democratic Party stated for Dnevni Telegraf that the protests of the students, the coalition Zajedno and all the citizens with similar goals should unite into a unified institution - the Democratic Forum.

Vojislav Kostunica, president of the Democratic Party of Serbia received Antje Jensen the Chief of Staff of the Danish Embassy, the presiding country in OSCE.

The Initiative Board of the University for the Defence of Democracy will start a series of discussions concerning the democratization of media, it was said in the statement to the public.

New Democracy (ND) ordered Goran Ilic, its representative in the City Electoral Committee (GIK) to start the initiative for the extraordinary examination of the decision of the First County Court, which annulled the decision of the GIK of January 14, e.i. the victory of the coalition Zajedno.

"Endure, or democracy in Serbia will be backwarded of many years", announced Doris Pak, president of the Delegation of the European Parliament for relations with the countries of South-East Europe, to the Serbian democratic movement.

French academician Jean Francis Denio supported the demands of the coalition Zajedno for the acknowledgement of the results of the local elections and emphasized that Serbia should take the road of democracy, in his talks with Vesna Pesic and Vuk Draskovic, leaders of the coalition.

Aleksandar Krstic, president of the City Board of the Democratic Party (DS) and vice resident of the new city government in Nis, stated tonight that the citizens of Nis will protest until the will of the people, stated on the local elections, is acknowledged in the whole of Serbia.

The Steering Board of the Student Protest 96/97 sent an invitation to the team of economists on Tuesday, asking them to give the students the details of their programme for radical economic reforms and rapid recovery, FoNet reports.

British newspaper "The Times" has stated that Serbian President Milosevic is preparing for a long struggle after the First Municipal Court of Belgrade has once again rejected the Zajedno appeal, thus cancelling its right to take over the Belgrade City Assembly. The newspaper commented that sending appeals from court to court played into the hands of President Milosevic, the master of delay techniques.

"The Independent" stated that by combining reservation, mild repression and trivial concessions President Milosevic hoped to tire the opposition out in a struggle that could drag on for months.

"Financal Times" stressed that although the St Sava's procession was the largest gathering of opposition supporters since the Orthodox New Year, the Zajedno leaders secretly worry about keeping up the demonstrations after ten continuous weeks. The F.T. also said that President Milosevic was trying to patch up his ruling coalition and control the growing economic crisis by an alleged acceptance to initiate privatization.

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