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OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 189, 96-09-30

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Open Media Research Institute <http://www.omri.cz>

Vol. 2, No. 189, 30 September 1996


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] COMMISSION UPHOLDS TER-PETROSSYAN'S ELECTION VICTORY . . .
  • [02] . . . AND MORE ARRESTS IN YEREVAN.
  • [03] THIRD CONGRESS OF OSSETIANS CONVENES IN VLADIKAVKAZ.
  • [04] VIOLENCE IN ABKHAZIA.
  • [05] NIYAZOV TURNS DOWN LIFE-LONG PRESIDENCY.
  • [06] FIGHTING ERUPTS ALONG TAJIK-AFGHAN BORDER.

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [07] OSCE VALIDATES BOSNIAN ELECTION RESULTS.
  • [08] SCATTERED VIOLENCE IN BOSNIA.
  • [09] GERMANY RESOLVED TO SEND BOSNIAN REFUGEES HOME.
  • [10] FORMER CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR TO LEAD OPPOSITION COALITION IN YUGOSLAV ELECTIONS.
  • [11] BOMB ATTACKS ON ARMY BARRACKS IN KOSOVO.
  • [12] CROATIA PASSES RESOLUTION ON UN MANDATE IN EASTERN SLAVONIA.
  • [13] WORLD BANK GRANTS MACEDONIA $45 MILLION LOAN.
  • [14] ROMANIA OPENS OVER THE COUNTER STOCK EXCHANGE.
  • [15] ROMANIAN, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS DISCUSS TREATY.
  • [16] IMF, WORLD BANK URGE REFORMS IN BULGARIA.
  • [17] NINE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS SENTENCED.
  • [18] CENTER POLE TO TAKE PART IN ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] COMMISSION UPHOLDS TER-PETROSSYAN'S ELECTION VICTORY . . .

    Armenia's Central Electoral Commission on 29 September released the final results of the 22 September presidential election in which incumbent Levon Ter-Petrossyan received 51.75% of the 2,210,189 votes cast and his rival, National Democratic Union (NDU) chairman Vazgen Manukyan, only 41.29%, Western agencies reported. Speaking at a press conference in Yerevan on 27 September, Manukyan's wife, Vardouhi Ishkhanyan, said that the NDU would hand over evidence that the vote count had been falsified to international observers within two days. Manukyan is currently in hiding. Also on 27 September, Communist presidential candidate Sergei Badalyan, who received 6.34% of the vote, announced that his faction of eight deputies would no longer participate in the work of the "undemocratic" National Assembly, AFP reported. -- Liz Fuller

    [02] . . . AND MORE ARRESTS IN YEREVAN.

    Three NDU deputies and the sole Dashnak parliamentary deputy were arrested in Yerevan on 27 September, Noyan Tapan reported. Western diplomats estimate that in all some 200 people have been detained since the election, including the chairman of the Artsakh-Hayastan party, Lenser Aghalovyan, who withdrew his presidential candidacy to support Manukyan, according to Western agencies. Police are still searching for Democratic Party Chairman Aram Sarkisyan, who also withdrew his candidacy in Manukyan's favor. The third candidate who withdrew, Paruir Hairikyan, is under house arrest. Most of the troops and tanks deployed in Yerevan on 26 September following an attack on the parliament building by Manukyan's supporters were pulled back on 29 September. The city was reported to be calm. -- Liz Fuller

    [03] THIRD CONGRESS OF OSSETIANS CONVENES IN VLADIKAVKAZ.

    Meeting in Vladikavkaz on 27-28 September, representatives of the Republic of North Ossetiya-Alaniya and the disputed Georgian region of South Ossetia discussed how to improve the social-economic situation in North Ossetiya and to overcome the aftermath of the North Ossetiyan-Ingush and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts, Radio Rossii reported. Galazov expressed his support for the normalization of relations with Georgia and for any initiatives aimed at substantiating the peace process in the North Caucasus. On 24 September, the South Ossetiyan Supreme Council dismissed Prime Minister Vladislav Gabaraev for failing to resolve the region's social and political problems, according to a Kontakt News Agency report monitored by the BBC. Gabaraev may stand in next month's South Ossetian presidential election. -- Liz Fuller

    [04] VIOLENCE IN ABKHAZIA.

    There are conflicting reports of violence that erupted on 27 September in Abkhazia. It seems that several administrative buildings in Gali city were attacked and artillery shells were lobbed at the town of Ochamchira. Georgian television attributed these events to infighting among Abkhaz military units angry at personnel changes; the Abkhaz side, for its part, put the blame for the violence squarely on Georgian "bandits," and demanded that the Russian peacekeeping command take action to prevent further acts of "terrorism." The date 27 September is considered to be the third anniversary of victory for Sukhumi in its fight with Georgia. Meanwhile, hundreds of ethnic Georgian refugees from Abkhazia have begun a sit-in near the Inguri River to protest talks between Tbilisi and Sukhumi and Abkhazia's scheduled November election. - - Lowell Bezanis

    [05] NIYAZOV TURNS DOWN LIFE-LONG PRESIDENCY.

    Turkmenistan's socio-economic development through the year 2001 was the main subject at a joint session of the Turkmen Peoples' Council, the Council of Elders, and the Movement for National Revival in Bayram-Ali, RFE/RL reported on 27 September. At the session, Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov said he would not accept the title "president for life" as had been suggested late last year, saying such a move would violate the country's constitution. He was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying "we will decide together" who should be Turkmenistan's next president when his term expires in 2002. -- Lowell Bezanis

    [06] FIGHTING ERUPTS ALONG TAJIK-AFGHAN BORDER.

    Russian border guards have repelled an attempt by 300 opposition fighters to cross over from Afghanistan into Tajikistan, Russian and Western media reported. The fighting began on 27 September when opposition groups south of the Kalai-Khumb border posts tried to infiltrate Tajikistan. The opposition forces were largely unsuccessful in their attempts to penetrate the border, but ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported that some managed to enter Tajikistan. As of 29 September, the border guards had pushed them some 10 km back into Afghanistan. One opposition leader, Ali Akbar Turajonzoda, denied that his side had started the trouble, saying "in view of the uncertain situation in Afghanistan, it's not in our interests to provoke the enemy." -- Bruce Pannier

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [07] OSCE VALIDATES BOSNIAN ELECTION RESULTS.

    The OSCE has declared the results of the 14 September Bosnian vote valid, the BBC reported on 29 September. On 27 September, following widespread criticism of irregularities including vote totals from individual polling places that exceeded the number of registered voters, the OSCE's own legal advisory body had called for a recount. But the OSCE said the isolated irregularities did not add up to massive fraud; election supervisor Robert Frowick told Reuters that "it was a reasonably democratic process and a reasonably democratic result which reflects the will of the people." Critics have accused the OSCE of yielding to U.S. pressure so that President Bill Clinton can claim the Dayton agreement is being carried out on schedule. The decision cleared the way for a meeting of the three-man Bosnian presidency and for sanctions against Belgrade and Pale to be lifted. -- Patrick Moore

    [08] SCATTERED VIOLENCE IN BOSNIA.

    Oslobodjenje on 30 September reported the killing in Sarajevo two days earlier of Nedzad Ugljen, the deputy head of the controversial Bosnian Agency for Research and Documentation. In Mostar, a hand grenade landed on the apartment balcony of Josip Jole Musa of the opposition Joint List, causing material damage. He was recently elected to the Bosnian Federal Assembly. Along the busy but dangerous Route Arizona in northern Bosnia, a Muslim was shot and wounded on 27 September when his car was hijacked on Bosnian Serb territory, Onasa reported. Meanwhile, officials of more than 30 countries met in Dublin, Ireland, on 28 September to discuss plans for a modern and democratic police force for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The UN-sponsored conference sought to raise $99 million, but few countries made firm commitments. The largest was a $17 million package from the U.S. -- Patrick Moore

    [09] GERMANY RESOLVED TO SEND BOSNIAN REFUGEES HOME.

    German Interior Minister Manfred Kanther warned that Bosnian refugees who refuse to repatriate to Bosnia-Herzegovina "will not end up in the Bosnian winter but in court," AFP reported on 30 September. The interior ministers of Germany's federal states agreed in September that repatriation of the 320,000 Bosnian refugees currently in Germany should start on 1 October, but they left it up to each state to decide on timing and procedure. Repatriation is to start with unmarried people and couples with no children, and refugees may only be sent back to "safe" regions, with each case to be dealt with on an individual basis. Vehid Sehic, head of the Tuzla-based Alternative Citizens' Parliament, said on 28 September that repatriation of refugees is a higher priority than a civic society and democracy, Nasa Borba reported on 30 September. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [10] FORMER CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR TO LEAD OPPOSITION COALITION IN YUGOSLAV ELECTIONS.

    Former Central Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic announced he would lead the joint list of the Zajedno coalition in rump Yugoslavia's 3 November parliamentary elections. Avramovic successfully halted hyperinflation two years ago but was sacked in May after a dispute with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic about economic and political reforms. Avramovic said his coalition wants to liberalize the state-run economy, to enact Western-style democratic reforms and reduce the size of the federal government. Observers suggest Avramovic's coalition could cost the ruling Socialists their two- thirds majority. Zajedno is made up of Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement, Vojislav Kostunica's Serbian Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic's Democratic Party, Vesna Pesic's Citizens Union, and the Independent Trade Unions. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [11] BOMB ATTACKS ON ARMY BARRACKS IN KOSOVO.

    Unknown assailants attacked army barracks near Vucitrn with two bombs on 27 September, AFP reported. No one was hurt in the incident, but shots were reportedly exchanged between soldiers and the attackers. The same day, police stations on the Belgrade-Podujevo road were sprayed with machine gun fire. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [12] CROATIA PASSES RESOLUTION ON UN MANDATE IN EASTERN SLAVONIA.

    The Croatian parliament on 27 September passed a resolution saying the mandate of the UN Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) "must end on 15 January 1997," AFP reported. Zagreb is stepping up pressure to prevent the renewal of UNTAES's one-year mandate, as requested by rebel Serbs who still hold the area of eastern Slavonia. But UN spokesman Philip Arnold responded that renewal of the UN mandate will "be only a UN Security Council decision." Meanwhile, the state-run newspaper Vjesnik reported on 30 September that the UN mandate in eastern Slavonia would most probably end by 15 April 1997, while the UN forces would withdraw from Croatia by 15 June. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [13] WORLD BANK GRANTS MACEDONIA $45 MILLION LOAN.

    A Macedonian delegation to the annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF in Washington agreed with the bank on 28 September on a $45 million structural adjustment loan, Nova Makedonija reported. The money will provide balance-of- payments support. The government agreed to further liberalize its foreign trade regime and privatize agricultural estates. The credit follows a 1994 economic renewal loan ($40 million) and a 1995 financial and enterprise sector adjustment credit ($20 million). -- Michael Wyzan

    [14] ROMANIA OPENS OVER THE COUNTER STOCK EXCHANGE.

    Romania on 27 September inaugurated a long-awaited over-the-counter stock exchange that would help Romanians trade their shares in state-owned enterprises slated for privatization, Radio Bucharest reported. The ceremony, which took place at Bucharest's World Trade Center, was attended by President Ion Iliescu; Minister of State Mircea Cosea, who heads the government's Council for Economic Coordination, Strategy, and Reform; and other senior Romanian officials. The event is seen as the final stage in Romania's large- scale privatization scheme and a major step forward for the country's fledgling capital market. -- Dan Ionescu

    [15] ROMANIAN, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS DISCUSS TREATY.

    Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and his Ukrainian counterpart Hennadii Udovenko on 28 September discussed ways of overcoming the current impasse in negotiations over a basic treaty, Radio Bucharest reported. The meeting took place in New York, where the two were attending the 51st session of the UN General Assembly. The ministers agreed that talks over the draft document be resumed at legal experts' level in the second half of October. The two countries have been unable so far to complete the negotiations, mainly due to Romania's insistence that the document include a formal denunciation of the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact that resulted in Romania losing Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and the Herta region to the former Soviet Union. The last two territories, as well as southern Bessarabia and the Serpents' Islands, are currently part of Ukraine. -- Zsolt Mato

    [16] IMF, WORLD BANK URGE REFORMS IN BULGARIA.

    IMF and World Bank sources said the two organizations will do everything possible to help Bulgaria get out of its present crisis but urged Sofia to take strong measures to get reforms back on track, RFE/RL reported on 28 September. They said Sofia must reform its banking system and speed up privatization. Bulgarian top officials and the IMF and World Bank held talks in recent days, but no side commented on them. IMF and World Bank sources said both organizations are working to put aid programs together, but such programs must await an agreement between the IMF and Bulgaria about the disbursement of the second installment of a $580 million standby loan. President Zhelyu Zhelev said he had sent a letter to IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus "with a personal plea for financial and moral support for reforms in Bulgaria." -- Stefan Krause

    [17] NINE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS SENTENCED.

    Tirana Judge Mehdi Bici on 28 September sentenced nine senior communist-era officials to prison terms of up to 20 years, Reuters reported. The defendants were charged with sending dissidents into internal exile. They included Llambi Gegprifti, Lenka Cuko, and Irakli Vero, the former party leaders in Tirana, Lushnja, and Fier, respectively; former Kruja party chairman and local judge Idajet Beqiri, who currently heads the National Unity Party; Agron Tafa, Sulejmani Abazi, and Veiz Haderi, the secret police chairmen in Kruja, Tropoja, and Saranda, respectively; and former Interior Ministry department directors Nazmi Domi and Shkelzen Bajraktari. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [18] CENTER POLE TO TAKE PART IN ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    The Social Democrats and the Democratic Alliance said they would take part in 20 October's local elections, Reuters reported on 26 September. The two members of the Center Pole coalition thus abandoned earlier threats of a boycott. "Our fight should be held at the voting centers," Social Democrat leader Skender Gjinushi said. Democratic Alliance leader Neritan Ceka will run for mayor of Tirana. In other news, the Central Election Commission agreed on the division of TV broadcasting time for all parties in the election campaign. The governing coalition and the opposition will each receive 50 percent of the time, Rilindja Demokratike reported on 27 September. -- Fabian Schmidt

    Compiled by Victor Gomez and Tom Warner
    News and information as of 1200 CET


    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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