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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 80, 23 April 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] KARADZIC DEMANDS INQUIRY OVER BRITISH MOVE TO BANJA LUKA.

  • [2] RULES SET FOR BOSNIAN ELECTIONS.

  • [3] FINLAND RECOGNIZES RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [4] CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

  • [5] ROMANIAN SENATE STRIPS EXTREMIST POLITICIAN OF IMMUNITY.

  • [6] ROMANIA, YUGOSLAVIA, INITIAL BILATERAL TREATY.

  • [7] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MAINTAINS HE HAS ONLY BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP.

  • [8] BULGARIAN ROUNDUP.

  • [9] ETHNIC TENSIONS RISE AFTER KILLING OF STUDENT IN KOSOVO.

  • [10] MAJOR CHANGES IN ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERSHIP.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 80, Part II, 23 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] KARADZIC DEMANDS INQUIRY OVER BRITISH MOVE TO BANJA LUKA.

    Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic continues to be upset over the move of the British headquarters to Banja Luka (see OMRI Daily Digest, 22 April 1996). AFP quoted Karadzic's news agency, SRNA, as saying that Karadzic "ordered an inquiry to find out who promised to set up the British divisional headquarters in Banja Luka despite the opposition of parliament and the leadership of the Republika Srpska...Stationing of foreign troops in Banja Luka will be detrimental to this city, which is the most important cultural, university, and business center in the Republika Srpska." At issue is a test of wills not only between Karadzic and the British, but also between the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale and the one in Banja Luka, which wants its city to become the capital. Meanwhile in Stockholm, the Chief Justice of the international war- crimes tribunal, Richard Goldstone, said that Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, also an indicted war criminal, are becoming increasingly marginalized and that the chances of arresting them are improving. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] RULES SET FOR BOSNIAN ELECTIONS.

    The OSCE on 22 April issued a 12-page booklet setting down the rules for the elections slated to take place by mid-September. Called "the most complex elections in history," balloting will involve seven levels of government, from the presidency of the republic to local officials. Election supervisor Robert Frowick said that the vote will require freedom of association, expression, and movement, as well as a politically neutral atmosphere. This is quite a tall order for Bosnia and it is not clear whether the elections will actually take place. The Bosnian government representative, Kasim Begic, was unhappy with the provisions in the booklet which allow for refugees to vote in their new places of residence rather than in their prewar homes, as specified in the Dayton agreement. Begic also wanted tighter controls on participation by parties from Croatia and Serbia, Oslobodjenje reported on 23 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] FINLAND RECOGNIZES RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    Finland became on 22 April the tenth country to recognize rump Yugoslavia as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, following similar moves by France, Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Germany, Beta reported that same day. Finnish officials have remarked that their decision was in accordance with EU policy that enabled recognition once rump Yugoslavia and Macedonia moved towards bilateral recognition on 8 April. AFP added that on 18 April the European Parliament criticized those countries which have recognized the rump Yugoslavia, suggesting that the decision failed to incorporate consideration of continuing human rights abuses in Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo province. -- Stan Markotich

    [4] CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA.

    Josef Zieleniec on 22 April was in Skopje on a one-day official visit, Nova Makedonija reported. Zieleniec met with his Macedonian counterpart, Ljubomir Frckovski, President Kiro Gligorov and other officials. Zieleniec and Frckovski gave a positive assessment of the perspectives for bilateral cooperation. They said a number of mostly economic agreements will be drawn up and should be ready to be initialed soon. Meanwhile, the same daily reported that Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski canceled an official visit to Macedonia scheduled for 24-25 April. Strahil Chervenkov, head of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry's Southeastern European Department, was cited as saying the visit was postponed because of "frequent anti-Bulgarian reports in the Macedonian media which do not create the atmosphere for a ministerial visit." -- Stefan Krause

    [5] ROMANIAN SENATE STRIPS EXTREMIST POLITICIAN OF IMMUNITY.

    The Romanian Senate on 22 April voted to strip Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, of his parliamentary immunity. The Prosecutor General's Office has accused Tudor of "offending public authorities" by insulting President Ion Iliescu and Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service Virgil Magureanu. There are also 16 other pending cases against Tudor brought on by private plaintiffs. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that the Senate's decision might prevent Tudor from running for president in the fall elections. Romanian law forbids persons with a criminal record from running for the presidential office. Even if the sentence were not passed till then, Tudor's candidacy could be contested in court by private persons, Evenimentul zilei wrote on 23 April citing Senate Judicial Commission chairman Ion Predescu. -- Michael Shafir

    [6] ROMANIA, YUGOSLAVIA, INITIAL BILATERAL TREATY.

    The Foreign Ministers of Romania and rump Yugoslavia, Teodor Melescanu and Milan Milutinovic, on 22 April initialed in Bucharest a 20-year friendship treaty, Romanian and international media reported. The treaty will be officially signed by the two countries' presidents later this year. Milutinovic was also received by President Ion Iliescu and by the chairmen of the bicameral parliament, Adrian Nastase and Oliviu Gherman. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MAINTAINS HE HAS ONLY BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP.

    Georgi Pirinski on 22 April said that he renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1974, 24 chasa reported. Reacting to allegations that constitutional provisions might prevent him from running for president, he said he was "surprised that the matter is being discussed without anyone asking me." Pirinski, who is considered one of the most likely presidential candidates of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), was born in New York in 1948. Under the Bulgarian constitution, the president and parliamentary deputies are not allowed to have dual citizenship. Pirinski's statement is the first indication from him directly that he may run for president. Meanwhile, Parliamentary President Blagovest Sendov said he will run for president if the BSP nominates him, but that he will be "very pleased" if this does not happen because he expects the election campaign to be "extremely brutal." -- Stefan Krause

    [8] BULGARIAN ROUNDUP.

    Ahmed Dogan, leader of the mainly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom, will visit Turkey again within the next three weeks and meet with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and the Organization of Turkish Immigrants from Bulgaria in Bursa, Bulgarian media reported. Dogan returned from his first "official" visit to Turkey on 20 April, during which he met with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and other political leaders. In other news, one worker was killed and six injured in an explosion in a wood-processing plant in Veliko Tarnovo, Kontinent reported. The accident happened when a turbine caught fire. Similar incidents occurred in that plant in 1981, 1991, and 1993. Zhelyazko Hristov, Deputy Chairman of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, said that 1,215 workers have been killed in industrial accidents since 1990 and 131,249 injured. -- Stefan Krause

    [9] ETHNIC TENSIONS RISE AFTER KILLING OF STUDENT IN KOSOVO.

    The killing of a 20-year-old Albanian student by a Serb civilian in Pristina on 21 April has instigated several shootings throughout Kosovo, resulting in four additional deaths and four injuries, international media reported. Reportedly, the student was shot dead from the fifth floor of a nearby apartment house while leaving a birthday party. Police arrested the culprit, who claimed he thought the Albanian was stealing his car. Elsewhere, more than 1,000 demonstrators from Kosovo noisily protested the recognition of rump-Yugoslavia by several EU countries outside a EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, Reuters reported on 22 April. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [10] MAJOR CHANGES IN ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERSHIP.

    Eight members of the Democratic Party's leadership have been purged in an unexpected meeting of the party's National Council on 21 April, Koha Jone reported on 23 April. The meeting took place only two weeks after a party congress in which the new leadership was elected. Among those purged are the former party leader Eduard Selami and former Secretary-General Tomorr Dosti. Others include former Finance Minister Genc Ruli, former Vice Premier and Agricultural Minister Rexhep Uka, and the head of the state control commission, Blerim Cela. Koha Jone noted that party leader Tritan Shehu did not participate in the meeting and claims that he was not invited by President Berisha, who was chairing the conference. -- Fabian Schmidt

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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