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Voice of America, 97-12-07

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] SERBIA/VOTE 2ND UPDATE (S-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)
  • [02] SERBIA VOTE / S BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)
  • [03] SERBIA VOTE UPDATE (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

  • [01] SERBIA/VOTE 2ND UPDATE (S-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223792
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE POLLS HAVE CLOSED IN SERBIA'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND IF CURRENT TRENDS HOLD THE TWO LEADING CANDIDATES WILL FACE EACH OTHER IN A RUNOFF VOTE LATER THIS MONTH. VOA'S ART CHIMES REPORTS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: EARLY RESULTS SHOW SOCIALIST CANDIDATE MILAN MILUTINOVIC IS WELL AHEAD OF HIS ULTRANATIONALIST RIVAL VOJISLAV SESELJ. BOTH THE SOCIALISTS AND MR. SESELJ'S RADICAL PARTY ARE RUNNING AHEAD OF THEIR TOTALS IN THE FIRST ROUND OF VOTING. THE BIG LOSER SEEMS TO BE VUK DRASKOVIC -- THE SURVIVING CANDIDATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION COALITION AND THE CANDIDATE SEEN BY THE WEST AS THE BEST CHANCE FOR NORMALIZATION IN SERBIA.

    THERE WAS FEAR GOING INTO SUNDAY'S VOTE THAT APATHY AND A BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN MIGHT RESULT IN A TURNOUT LOWER THAN 50 PERCENT WHICH WOULD HAVE INVALIDATED THE ELECTION. BUT EVEN WITH AN ADEQUATE TURNOUT THERE WILL LIKELY BE ANOTHER ROUND IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROCESS, IF AS SEEMS LIKELY NONE OF THE THREE CANDIDATES GETS A MAJORITY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AC/WFR
    07-Dec-97 6:10 PM EST (2310 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] SERBIA VOTE / S BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223774
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERBIANS ARE VOTING FOR PRESIDENT TODAY FOR THE THIRD TIME IN THREE MONTHS. AN ULTRANATIONALIST CANDIDATE IS THE LIKELY FRONT-RUNNER, BUT VOTER APATHY MAY INVALIDATE THE ELECTION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: OPINION POLLS SHOW FORMER PARAMILITARY LEADER VOJISLAV SESELJ LIKELY TO WIN THE MOST VOTES -- AHEAD OF SOCIALIST CANDIDATE MILAN MILUTINOVIC. BUT THE ELECTION WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS 50 PERCENT OF THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS SHOW UP. THIS MAY NOT HAPPEN, GIVEN AN OPPOSITION BOYCOTT AND VOTER APATHY.

    AT ONE POLLING PLACE IN BELGRADE, VOTERS SAID THEY WANT A CHANGE.

    // VOTER ACTUALITY (IN SERBIAN; ESTAB AND FADE) //

    IT'S IMPORTANT TO ELECT A PRESIDENT WHO WILL BRING US INTO EUROPE, HE SAYS, AND IMPROVE THE ECONOMY. THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE CAMPAIGN PROMISES OF VUK DRASKOVIC, THE NUMBER-THREE CANDIDATE. HOWEVER, THIS MAN SAYS HE VOTED FOR MR. SESELJ.

    ANALYSTS SAY VOJISLAV SESELJ WOULD BE LIKELY TO ESCALATE CONFRONTATION WITH THE WEST OVER HANDING OVER WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS FROM THE BOSNIA WAR AND TREATMENT OF MINORITY GROUPS -- PARTICULARLY ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB / ART / WD
    07-Dec-97 5:06 AM EST (1006 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] SERBIA VOTE UPDATE (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223789
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// EDS: POLLS CLOSE 1900 UTC /////

    INTRO: FOR THE THIRD TIME IN THREE MONTHS, SERBIAN VOTERS ARE CASTING BALLOTS FOR PRESIDENT (SUNDAY). CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS FROM BELGRADE THE CONTEST IS UNLIKELY TO BE DECIDED IN THIS ROUND OF VOTING.

    TEXT: THE LAST VOTE, TWO-MONTHS AGO, WAS INVALIDATED WHEN FEWER THAN THE MINIMUM 50-PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS CAST A BALLOT. AFTER A SLOW START, IT APPEARS THE TURNOUT THIS TIME WILL BE MORE THAN 50-PERCENT.

    ELECTION MONITORS SAID MIDDAY TURNOUT IN BELGRADE WAS ALMOST EQUAL TO THE FULL DAY'S VOTE IN OCTOBER. BUT THE WINNING CANDIDATE HAS TO GET A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING, AND IN A RACE WITH THREE MAIN CANDIDATES, AND SEVERAL MINOR ONES, THAT SEEMS UNLIKELY.

    PRE-ELECTION POLLS INDICATED ULTRA-NATIONALIST CANDIDATE VOJISLAV SESELJ OF THE RADICAL PARTY WOULD LIKELY GET THE MOST VOTES. THE RULING SOCIALISTS ARE RUNNING MILAN MILUTINOVIC, THE FEDERAL FOREIGN MINISTER. THE THIRD MAJOR CANDIDATE IS VUK DRASKOVIC, THE SURVIVING MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION COALITION.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG VERSION ///

    INTERNATIONAL MONITORS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE ARE WATCHING THE PROCEEDINGS. THEY HAVE FOCUSED ON WHAT HAPPENS -- BEFORE -- ELECTION DAY.

    THE O-S-C-E REPORT ON THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF VOTING FOR SERBIAN PRESIDENT CITED PROBLEMS WITH THE ELECTION LAW, ITS ADMINISTRATION, AND MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE CAMPAIGN. THE REPORT CONCLUDED THOSE PREVIOUS ELECTIONS WERE FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED, DESPITE THE GENERALLY-ADEQUATE PROCEDURES AT POLLING STATIONS ON ELECTION DAY.

    A SERBIAN GROUP MONITORING THE ELECTIONS PROCESS AGREES. THE CENTER FOR FREE ELECTIONS AND DEMOCRACY -- KNOWN AS CESID -- SAYS IN THE EARLY 1990'S IN THE COUNTRY'S FIRST POST-COMMUNIST ELECTIONS FRAUD WAS RAMPANT AT THE POLLS. BUT THE CESID'S MARKO BLAGOJEVIC SAYS THAT HAS CHANGED:

    // BLAGOJEVIC ACTUALITY //

    ELECTION MANIPULATIONS AND ELECTION IRREGULARITIES ARE MOVING FROM THE ELECTION DATE TO THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    SOME POLITICAL ANALYSTS BELIEVE OUTRIGHT VOTE-RIGGING IS STILL POSSIBLE, ESPECIALLY IN KOSOVO PROVINCE, WHERE THE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN MAJORITY MOSTLY DOES NOT VOTE. THEY SAY THE RULING SOCIALISTS ARE CAPABLE OF RIGGING THE RESULTS TO ENSURE IF THEIR MAN IS NOT ELECTED, THE PROCESS WILL REMAIN DEADLOCKED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/RAE
    07-Dec-97 12:39 PM EST (1739 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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