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Voice of America, 98-09-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BAVARIA ELECTION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [02] BAVARIA ELECTION UPDATE (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] BOSNIA ELECTION (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (SARAJEVO)
  • [04] BOSNIA ELECTIONS UPDATE (L) BY DOUG ROBERTS (SARAJEVO)

  • [01] BAVARIA ELECTION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-238585
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANS IN THE SOUTHERN STATE OF BAVARIA HAVE GIVEN THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION, A CONSERVATIVE ALLY OF CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL, AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY IN VOTING FOR THE STATE PARLIAMENT. SUNDAY'S VOTE TOOK PLACE TWO WEEKS BEFORE NATIONWIDE ELECTIONS. AS RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE SIGNALS FROM BAVARIA ARE MIXED.

    TEXT: THIS IS THE EIGHTH TIME IN A ROW BAVARIANS HAVE RETURNED THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION TO THE STATE PARLIAMENT WITH AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY. IT IS QUESTIONABLE WHETHER THE WIN BY CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL'S ALLY WILL GIVE HIS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ANY BOOST AT ALL.

    THE UNION'S MAJORITY SLIPPED A FEW PERCENTAGE POINTS FROM 1994, GIVING IT 52 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. BAVARIA'S PRIME MINISTER EDMUND STOIBER ASSESSED THE WIN AS A SUPER RESULT COMING AGAINST 18 OTHER PARTIES AND A DEFEAT FOR THE OPPOSITION SOCIAL DEMOCRATS.

    THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS WHO LEAD THE NATIONAL OPINION SURVEYS REMAINED AT AROUND 30 PERCENT IN BAVARIA AND THEIR LEFTIST PARTNER THE GREENS, SLIPPED FROM FOUR YEARS AGO. THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, NATIONAL CANDIDATE, GERHARD SCHROEDER, HAD ALREADY DISMISSED THE VOTE IN BAVARIA AS A SPECIAL CASE.

    THAT'S BECAUSE THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION ALWAYS WINS IN BAVARIA AND THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE SOUTHERN STATE IS THE LOWEST IN GERMANY AT SIX AND HALF PERCENT.

    IF CHANCELLOR KOHL IS TO BE DEFEATED FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1982, IT WILL NOT BE BECAUSE OF CONSERVATIVE BAVARIA. THE CHANCELLOR'S PARTY IS TRAILING IN EASTERN GERMANY WHERE UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS STUBBORN AT 17 PERCENT OF THE WORK FORCE.

    THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION'S CONTINUED SUCCESS IN BAVARIA IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE STATE'S PRIME MINISTER, MR. STOIBER. HE SUCCESSFULLY USED THE ISSUES OF CRIME AND FOREIGNERS TO TAKE VOTES AWAY FROM THE FAR RIGHT REPUBLICANS WHO REMAIN OUTSIDE BAVARIA'S PARLIAMENT.

    CHANCELLOR KOHL CAN BE PLEASED BY THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION'S DEFENSE OF ITS STATE MAJORITY BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER BAVARIA'S VOTE WILL GIVE HIM THE MOMENTUM TO CLOSE THE NATIONAL GAP WITH THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS. HIS CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS TRAIL NATIONALLY BY THREE TO SIX PERCENT ACCORDING TO POLLSTERS, A GAP THE CHANCELLOR HOPES TO CLOSE IN THE FINAL TWO WEEKS OF THE CAMPAIGN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/WFR
    13-Sep-98 4:03 PM EDT (2003 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BAVARIA ELECTION UPDATE (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-238580
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANS IN THE SOUTHERN STATE OF BAVARIA HAVE GIVEN AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY TO THE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION IN THE STATE PARLIAMENT. CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE RESULTS DO NOT ENCOURAGE ANY PARTY AHEAD OF NATIONAL ELECTIONS TWO-WEEKS FROM TODAY.

    TEXT: FOR THE EIGHTH TIME IN A ROW, THE CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION HAS WON AN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY OVER THE 19 PARTIES RUNNING FOR THE STATE PARLIAMENT. BUT, INITIAL PROJECTIONS SHOW THE PARTY FALLING SHORT OF ITS 1994 RESULT AND PROVIDING LITTLE IF ANY MOMENTUM FOR ITS ALLY, CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL AHEAD OF FEDERAL ELECTIONS ON SEPTEMBER 27TH.

    THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS ARE PROJECTED TO WIN THE SAME 30-PERCENT THEY WON IN 1994 IN BAVARIA, SO THE RESULTS ARE ALSO NO BOOST FOR THEIR NATIONAL CANDIDATE GERHARD SCHROEDER.

    MR. SCHROEDER HAD ALREADY DISMISSED THE STATE ELECTION IN BAVARIA AS A SPECIAL CASE. BAVARIA HAS THE LOWEST UN-EMPLOYMENT RATE IN GERMANY, A LITTLE MORE THAN SIX-PERCENT. CHANCELLOR KOHL IS TRAILING MR. SCHROEDER BY THREE TO SIX-PERCENT IN NATIONAL SURVEYS.

    THE CHANCELLOR IS ESPECIALLY WEAK IN EASTERN GERMANY WHERE UN-EMPLOYMENT REMAINS AT 17-PERCENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/DW/RAE
    13-Sep-98 1:14 PM EDT (1714 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BOSNIA ELECTION (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=9/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-238571
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE WEEKEND GENERAL ELECTIONS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ARE DRAWING TO A CLOSE (NOTE: VOTING CLOSES AT 1400GMT) WITH VOTERS CHOOSING NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEADERS AND LEGISLATORS IN BOTH THE MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION AND BOSNIA'S SERB REPUBLIC. ELECTION SUPERVISORS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE SAY THE VOTING IS GOING WELL, AS WE HEAR FROM DOUGLAS ROBERTS IN SARAJEVO.

    TEXT: THE FIRST DAY OF THE ELECTION WAS MARRED BY TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THAT DELAYED THE OPENING OF MORE THAN 100 POLLING CENTERS, BUT O-S-C-E'S SPOKESWOMAN NICOLE SZULC SAYS ALL BUT ONE OF THE TWO-THOUSAND CENTERS WERE FUNCTIONING NORMALLY SUNDAY.

    /// SZULC ACT ///

    EVERYTHING ELSE, NATIONWIDE, IS GOING SMOOTHLY. WE ARE DELIGHTED.

    /// END ACT ///

    MS. SZULC SAYS THAT VOTER TURNOUT WAS ESTIMATED AT BETWEEN 35 AND 40-PERCENT AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF THE BALLOT, AND SHE SAYS THE FINAL FIGURE COULD BE AS HIGH AS 80-PERCENT. THIS, DESPITE HEAVY RAINS IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY THROUGHOUT THE VOTING PERIOD.

    NO MAJOR INCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. LOCAL AND U-N POLICE HAVE INTERVENED TO STOP A FEW MINOR SCUFFLES, AND THE NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCES MAINTAINED A DISCREET PRESENCE.

    BUT UNLIKE BOSNIA'S FIRST POSTWAR VOTE TWO-YEARS AGO, THE ATMOSPHERE DURING THESE ELECTIONS HAS BEEN REMARKABLY CALM, WITH TRAFFIC MOVING FREELY ACROSS THE FORMER CONFRONTATION LINES.

    INITIAL RETURNS FROM THE VOTING ARE EXPECTED MONDAY OR TUESDAY, BUT O-S-C-E OFFICIALS SAY IT COULD BE 10-DAYS OR MORE BEFORE ALL THE VOTES ARE TALLIED.

    WESTERN OFFICIALS ARE PRESSING FOR THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT. THEY HOPE THE RESULTS WILL SIGNAL A MAJOR CHANGE IN THE BOSNIAN POLITICAL MAP, WITH MODERATE PARTIES COMMITTED TO DAYTON PRINCIPLES GAINING GROUND AT THE EXPENSE OF HARDLINE NATIONALIST FACTIONS THAT PROSECUTED THE WAR.

    THE KEY CONTESTS ARE IN THE SERB ENTITY, WITH SOME ANALYSTS PREDICTING THE ELECTORAL DEMISE OF THE HARDLINERS LOYAL TO WARTIME LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC HE HAS BEEN FORMALLY INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES BY THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE.

    IN THE PICTURESQUE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE OF PALE, THE FORMER KARADZIC HEADQUARTERS, AT LEAST SOME VOTERS SAY THE TIME FOR CHANGE HAS COME. AS HE STOOD IN LINE OUTSIDE A POLLING STATION IN PALE, ONE AGING SERB WAR VETERAN SAID HE EXPECTS WISER PEOPLE WILL COME TO POWER. HE SAID THE CHANGE IS NEEDED TO INSURE A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

    BUT SUPPORT FOR THE KARADZIC FACTION IS STILL MUCH IN EVIDENCE IN PALE. ONE WOMAN AT THE POLLING CENTER SAID, YES WE WANT CHANGE, BUT WE ALSO MUST PRESERVE OUR UNITY AND REMAIN LOYAL TO OUR LEADERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/DW
    13-Sep-98 9:56 AM EDT (1356 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BOSNIA ELECTIONS UPDATE (L) BY DOUG ROBERTS (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=9/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-238589
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE VOTE COUNTING IS UNDERWAY IN BOSNIA AFTER THE WEEK-END GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE COUNTRY'S MUSLIM - CROAT FEDERATION AND SERB ENTITY. DOUG ROBERTS IN SARAJEVO REPORTS THE ELECTION APPEARS TO HAVE GONE SMOOTHLY - WITH VOTERS CHOOSING NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEADERS AND LEGISLATORS IN WHAT WESTERN OFFICIALS -- INCLUDING THOSE OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE -- HOPE WILL BE ANOTHER STEP TOWARD IMPLEMENTING THE 1995 DAYTON PEACE ACCORD.

    TEXT: O-S-C-E OFFICIALS WERE CLEARLY ELATED OVER THE CONDUCT OF THE WEEK-END ELECTIONS. ROBERT BARRY - WHO HEADS THE ORGANIZATION'S MISSION IN BOSNIA - BRIEFED REPORTERS HERE SHORTLY AFTER THE POLLS CLOSED LATE SUNDAY.

    //BARRY ACT//

    I THINK THAT TODAY SAW THE CONCLUSION OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ELECTIONS EVER HELD HERE SINCE 1995. I THINK A LOT OF THE CREDIT FOR THAT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA WHO HAVE DEMONSTRATED A NEW LEVEL OF POLITICAL MATURITY IN CARRYING OUT THESE ELECTIONS IN A CALM AND ORDERLY ATMOSPHERE AND IN DISPLAYING A STRONG INTEREST IN THE ENTIRE ELECTION PROCESS, IN THE CANDIDATES, IN THEIR PROGRAMS

    //END ACT//

    N-A-T-O PEACE KEEPING FORCES MAINTAINED A DISCREET PRESENCE AROUND THE COUNTRY THROUGHOUT THE TWO DAYS OF POLLING BUT NO MAJOR SECURITY INCIDENTS WERE REPORTED AND TRAFFIC MOVED FREELY ACROSS THE FORMER CONFRONTATION LINES.

    PRELIMINARY RETURNS ARE EXPECTED LATE TUESDAY BUT O-S-C-E OFFICIALS SAY IT COULD BE A WEEK TO TEN DAYS BEFORE ALL THE VOTES ARE TALLIED.

    AMBASSADOR BARRY AND OTHER WESTERN OFFICIALS HERE ARE CLEARLY HOPING THE RESULTS WILL MARK THE EMERGENCE OF A GREATER POLITICAL PLURALISM IN BOSNIA WITH MODERATES GAINING GROUND AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ULTRA NATIONALIST FACTIONS THAT PROSECUTED THE WAR. THEY BLAME THE NATIONALIST GROUPS FOR OBSTRUCTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE KEY ELEMENTS OF THE DAYTON ACCORD, THE REINTEGRATION OF BOSNIA'S ETHNIC COMMUNITIES AND THE RETURN OF REFUGEES.

    OPINION SURVEYS FORECAST GAINS FOR THE MODERATES ESPECIALLY IN BOSNIA'S SERB REPUBLIC. AND AMBASSADOR BARRY SAID THE FACT THAT AS MANY AS 20 PERCENT OF THE VOTERS WERE UNDECIDED RIGHT UP TO THE EVE OF THE ELECTION SHOWS THAT BOSNIANS ARE LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES AND ARE NO LONGER CONTENT TO VOTE SOLEY ALONG ETHNIC LINES.

    INDEPENDENT ANALYSTS FROM PRIVATE MONITORING ORGANIZATIONS - LIKE THE INTERNATIONALIST CRISIS GROUP - SAY THEY DOUBT THE ELECTIONS WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON EFFORTS TO BREAK DOWN THE ETHNIC BARRIERS. BUT CARLOS WESTENDORP, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOSNIA, SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT THE SITUATION IS GOING TO IMPROVE.

    //WESTENDORP ACT//

    IN THE DIRECTION OF MORE MODERATION AND MORE PLURALISM THE SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY SHOWS THAT. AND THIS IS GOING TO BE A STEP IN THE DIRECTION OF FULL DEMOCRATIZATION AND MULTIETHNICITY AND TOLERANCE IN THIS COUNTRY.

    //END ACT//

    AMBASSADOR WESTENDORP ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE CHANGES WILL NOT COME OVERNIGHT BUT SAID HE IS CERTAIN THE ELECTIONS WILL CONTRIBUTE TOWARD THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STABLE AND IRREVERSIBLE PEACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DR/ENE-T/WFR
    13-Sep-98 6:31 PM EDT (2231 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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