News for November 28th, 1996

Students of Belgrade University continued their strike, today (the fifth day). They proceeded in the same manner as the days before. About 400 lecturers of the University gave support to their students. Also, several public figures addressed the students (Dragoljub Micunovic, Goran Markovic, Bora Djordjevic). The letter in which Vlade Divac (famous basketball player) supported the protest, was read. Rector of Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic, was shown on national television with a statement in which he denies existence of the Students Protest. He said there were only "the minority of manipulated students".

"Board for Democracy Protection" was formed by professors of Belgrade University. Several hundreds of professors have signed the "support for students" during one day.

Today is the tenth day of the protests of the citizens of Belgrade and other Serbian towns and cities. More than 50 00 people in Belgrade took part in the protest march on the streets of Belgrade; the march started in Trg Republika, through Srpskih Vladara Street, Beogradska Street, Bulevar Revolucije Street, Takovska, Ivo Lola Ribar and Makedonska streets to Terazije Street, where a meeting was held in front of the headquarters of the Democratic Party. Contrary to yesterday, no glasses were broken, but people threw eggs at the buildings of the Serbian Parliament, Serbian Presidency, State Television and TV Politika.

The representatives of the "Zajedno" coalition stated once again today that their coalition had nothing to do with yesterday's breaking of windows, pointing out that the damage was done by provokers who were sent by the ruling regime. They appealed to the citizens to persist in non-violent forms of protest and scheduled the continuation of the protest for tomorrow.

Graduating pupils of Obrenovac secondary school announced their strike as a sign of solidarity with the students and invited other graduating pupils to join them.

Radio B92 program was again disturbed by the police today, especially during the broadcasting of the news. Its signal cannot be received in some parts of the city while in others (central parts) the receiving is almost impossible. Radio B92 and Radio Index practically represent the only free and independent source of the information about the happenings at the protest in the city.

The Socialist Party of Serbia proclaimed through the state media their victory in Belgrade after the additional ballot which was held yesterday and which was boycotted bye "Zajedno" coalition. The City Electoral Committee, however, stated that the results of yesterday's elections would be announced tomorrow.

Preliminary results were, however, reported tonight: SPS (the Socialist Party of Serbia) and JUL (the United Left Oriented Parties) got 58 places, "Zajedno" coalition got 31 place, SRS (the Radical Party of Serbia) got 10 places, DSS (the Democratic Party of Serbia) got 2 places in the City Hall which has 110 places; the elections will be repeated in 16 voting places and will be held on 7th December ("the fourth ballot").

At the additional ballot in Kragujevac, "Zajedno" coalition got 10 places and SPS got 1 place, which means that "Zajedno" coalition gained the absolute majority in this city. The citizens of Kragujevac are celebrating tonight the victory of "Zajedno" coalition.

Since the representative of the German owner of Blic (a daily newspaper) in the editorial of today's issue called the opposition "the wolves", giving inadequate lectures to those who support them, the journalists of that newspaper dissociated themselves from that issue, while the editors-in-chief resigned. According to unofficial news, they announced the possibility of starting a new newspaper with similar name.

The police have been reinforced in Belgrade as well as in the other cities in Serbia in which the protest caused by the scandal connected to the elections are being held. Until today there have been no contacts or incidents between the participants of the protest and the special police forces.

According to today's issue of "Nasa Borba" and yesterday's issue of "Nedeljni Telegraf", the Yugoslav Army has been put into the state of combat readiness in the "oppositional" towns while all leaves have been canceled for the soldiers and officers. The newspapers also inform us that the Ministry of Defence has decided that the Army should not get involved in the existing political confrontations and civil unrest.

There is a great confusion over the additional ballot in the electoral units where the regime has annulled the results of the local elections. That ballot was held yesterday in Belgrade, and was scheduled for Sunday in Rakovica (a Balgrade suburb). The results were annulled in the county of Savski Venac (part of Belgrade), but it is still unknown when the additional ballot will be held.

Free and independent radio "Ozon" in Cacak was closed today by the regime. Radio "Ozon" strove to objectively inform the citizens of Cacak and surrounding area. The minister of information, Aleksandar Tijanic, has not stated his attitude regarding the reinforced pressure of the regime on those few free and independent media in Serbia.

"Europe is highly concerned about the events in Serbia", stated the commissioner of the external affairs of EU, Van den Bruk and added that he would not hesitate to present that question to the authorities in Serbia.

The American Administration demanded once again that Milosevic should respect the apparent victory of the opposition in the local elections in the larger towns in Serbia and threatened with additional measures against the regime in Serbia.

The hero of all the protest days was an elderly lady from Ivo Lola Ribar St. who waved the state flag and threw flowers on the protesters from her balcony. The protesters salute her with applauses and shouts: "Grandma for mayor!" This afternoon's protest was accompanied by rain through somewhat weaker than the previous days.

"Tomorrow is the day when in Jajce [the town where the old Yugoslavia was formed], more then 50 years ago, the "egg thieves" were born.", said Zoran Djindjic, president of the Democratic Party at today's meeting. Even this 29th of November was appointed a holiday (the Day of Constitution; the day of the constitution of the new Yugoslavia has been celebrated in April in parallel the past five years.)

Thanks to novim@sezampro.yu

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