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OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 203, 96-10-18

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

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

Vol. 2, No. 203, 18 October 1996


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION RALLY BANNED.
  • [02] GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY DENIES GAMSAKHURDIA SUPPORTERS ARRESTED.
  • [03] NEW TWIST IN GEORGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR OF WORDS.
  • [04] DEMONSTRATION IN KAZAKSTANI CAPITAL.
  • [05] CORRECTION:

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [06] NEW RULES FOR BOSNIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.
  • [07] IFOR GETS TOUGH WITH MUSLIM MILITARY.
  • [08] SERBS BULLDOZE FORMER MOSQUE SITE IN BANJA LUKA.
  • [09] FORMER YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR DEFINITELY OUT OF ELECTION RACE.
  • [10] AMNESTIED CROATIAN SERBS RE-ARRESTED.
  • [11] CROATIA RECEIVES LOAN WORTH 200 MILLION DM.
  • [12] MOLDOVAN ELECTION UPDATE.
  • [13] DID DNIESTER-BASED RUSSIAN TROOPS BACK LEBED?
  • [14] BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO SET UP COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE LUKANOV KILLING.
  • [16] BULGARIAN PRIME INTEREST RATE CUT.
  • [17] MORE OBSERVERS WITHDRAW FROM ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.
  • [18] KOSOVO ALBANIAN ARRESTED IN TIRANA FOR SELLING MARXIST LITERATURE.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION RALLY BANNED.

    The Yerevan city authorities reversed themselves and withdrew permission for opposition rallies slated for 18 October, citing errors in the application, Noyan Tapan and RFE/RL reported the same day. The opposition said that they will apply for the demonstration to be held next week. The move follows President Levon Ter-Petrossyan's 11 October decree lifting the ban on public gatherings that was imposed after the 25 September violence in the capital. In other news, chief presidential aide Gerard Libaridian charged that the OSCE used the 22 September presidential elections to force Armenia to make concessions in the negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Noyan Tapan reported. Libaridian accused the OSCE observer mission monitoring the vote of "playing political games," and said the latter misinterpreted Armenian electoral laws. The mission questioned the official election results according to which Ter-Petrossyan won a second term. -- Emil Danielyan

    [02] GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY DENIES GAMSAKHURDIA SUPPORTERS ARRESTED.

    Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Valerian Gogolashvili on 17 October denied Russian media reports that some 30 supporters of deceased President Zviad Gamsakhurdia had been arrested in protest demonstrations in Tbilisi on 16 October, ITAR-TASS reported. (See ) -- Liz Fuller

    [03] NEW TWIST IN GEORGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR OF WORDS.

    The Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 16 October categorically rejecting the Russian Foreign Ministry's accusation six days earlier that the Georgian parliament is trying "to revise the whole complex of Russian-Georgian relations" by threatening to annul an (unratified) agreement on Russian military bases in Georgia and by calling for the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping troops currently deployed along Georgia's internal border with Abkhazia, ITAR-TASS reported. The statement reiterated Georgia's commitment to the bilateral treaty on friendship and cooperation signed in February 1994, and Georgia's desire for a peaceful resolution of the Abkhaz conflict. -- Liz Fuller

    [04] DEMONSTRATION IN KAZAKSTANI CAPITAL.

    About 4,000 people rallied in Almaty on 17 October to demand that the government do something about unpaid wages and pensions, which now total some $8.5 million, and the poor standard of living, ITAR-TASS and RFE/RL reported. No political leaders were given the opportunity to speak: the trade unions, which called the demonstration, wanted to avoid any insinuation that it was politically motivated. Those assembled requested in vain a meeting with a government representative. Though the unions called for demonstrations throughout Kazakstan, officials in other regions, notably Pavlodar and Ust- Kamenogorsk, managed to obtain injunctions against the meetings. -- Bruce Pannier and Merhat Sharipzhan

    [05] CORRECTION:

    An item in the OMRI Daily Digest of 16 October incorrectly stated that Iran was thought to share Kazakstan's views on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. In fact Iran is thought to favor the Russian position.

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [06] NEW RULES FOR BOSNIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    The OSCE's Provisional Election Commission (PEC), convening in Sarajevo on 17 October, decided on registration rules for the 23-24 November local vote. Refugees will be allowed to register to vote only where they lived in 1991 or where they have lived since the end of 1995, Reuters and Oslobodjenje reported. They will no longer be permitted to sign up for a place where they simply say they intend to live. The local elections were postponed last month because of massive fraud in registering refugees to vote in strategic towns where they had never resided. All three sides engaged in the practice, but the fraud was particularly blatant among the Serbs. The Bosnian Serb authorities are expected to protest the new OSCE ruling, PEC spokesmen said. Meanwhile, the Muslim Party of Democratic Action wants the fate of the strategic Serb- held northern town of Brcko to be decided before the local vote, AFP noted. The Dayton agreement left the issue open for international arbitration before 14 December. -- Patrick Moore

    [07] IFOR GETS TOUGH WITH MUSLIM MILITARY.

    NATO peacekeepers have placed a republic-wide ban on parades by the mainly Muslim Bosnian army following an unauthorized one in east Mostar, Oslobodjenje reported on 18 October. The targeted corps may not train for a week, nor may any other unit train in the area during that time. The parade ban is of indefinite duration. IFOR stumbled upon the display when it unwittingly took two Turkish officers to the site to participate. Elsewhere, IFOR also protested remarks made at another ceremony by Gen. Atif Dudakovic, Onasa noted on 17 October. The politically active general said that "Dayton allowed for a reunited Bosnia, including Banja Luka and Bijeljina, which will be ours in the next war." He also stated that "children should wave toy guns, not flowers." An IFOR spokesman commented that those remarks were "unhelpful to the peace process." -- Patrick Moore

    [08] SERBS BULLDOZE FORMER MOSQUE SITE IN BANJA LUKA.

    Bosnian Serbs have begun bulldozing the site of the Ferhadija mosque in Banja Luka, which was blown up three years ago, Oslobodjenje reported on 18 October. A spokesman for the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia said the act was probably aimed at persuading Muslim deputies in the Serbian parliament not to attend its inaugural assembly, scheduled for 19 October in Banja Luka. The spokesman said that Michael Steiner, High Representative Carl Bildt's deputy, has gone to Banja Luka to demand that work on the site stop and to seek a meeting with Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [09] FORMER YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR DEFINITELY OUT OF ELECTION RACE.

    Rajko Nisavic, head of the federal electoral commission, has confirmed that Dragoslav Avramovic, former governor of the National Bank of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, will not take part in the 3 November elections, Nasa Borba reported on 18 October. Avramov wrote to Nisavic informing him of his decision. The former bank governor has also resigned as head of the electoral opposition list "Zajedno [Together]--Dragoslav Avramovic." Nasa Borba had reported last week that Avramovic would resign owing to "aggravated health conditions." The newspaper also speculated that pressure from the authorities may have been the main reason (see ). -- Stan Markotich

    [10] AMNESTIED CROATIAN SERBS RE-ARRESTED.

    According to Croatia's Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, at least two Serbs recently released from prison under an amnesty law have been re-arrested and charged with war crimes, international agencies reported on 18 October. Committee head Ivan Zvonimir Cicak said his organization fears there are more such cases and is trying to confirm three or four others. But, Serbs who returned to Belgrade say the Croats have re-arrested at least 23 amnestied Serbs who were waiting in a camp for Croatian approval to leave for Belgrade. Those who arrived in Belgrade said they feared for the safety of those still imprisoned in Croatia. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [11] CROATIA RECEIVES LOAN WORTH 200 MILLION DM.

    A union of 28 foreign banks from 12 countries has granted Croatia a DM 200 million loan, Hina reported on 17 October. Croatian Finance Minister Bozo Prka said the loan will be used for investment projects and capital expenditures. It will not damage the country's economic stability, he added. Interest on the loan is less than 6% and repayment is over two years. The loan has been described as the "cheapest and largest" granted to Croatia so far. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [12] MOLDOVAN ELECTION UPDATE.

    Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli has denied press reports that he is about to withdraw from the upcoming presidential elections in favor of parliamentary chairman Petru Lucinschi, Infotag reported on 16 October. Sangheli said he is aware that if President Mircea Snegur wins the November elections, the president will dismiss him as premier. Meanwhile, the number of candidates officially registered with the Central Electoral Commission now stands at eight. Infotag on 17 October reported that Anatol Plugaru, a 45-year-old former minister of national security, and 38-year-old Veronica Abramchuk, who heads the Department for National Relations, have registered as candidates. Abramchuk is a member of the Socialist Party, but both she and Plugaru are running as independents. -- Michael Shafir

    [13] DID DNIESTER-BASED RUSSIAN TROOPS BACK LEBED?

    Aleksandr Baranov, deputy commander of the Dniester-based Russian garrison, has denied a Radio Moscow report claiming the garrison sent telegrams of support to Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, BASA-press reported on 17 October. Baranov also refuted that the garrison was on alert. The Radio Moscow report was broadcast only several hours before Lebed was dismissed by President Boris Yeltsin. -- Michael Shafir

    [14] BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO SET UP COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE LUKANOV KILLING.

    The parliament on 17 October postponed voting on the establishment of a commission to investigate the killing of former Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov, Pari reported. Parliamentary Deputy President Nora Ananieva's proposal to form the commission was initially supported by deputies from all factions, but legislators were unable to agree on the lineup of that body. The ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), to which Lukanov had belonged, insisted on an 11-member commission reflecting the strength of the various caucuses. Under that proposal, the BSP would have had six seats. The ruling party rejected the proposal that more seats be distributed among the other parliamentary parties, prompting the opposition to withdraw its support for the motion[15] .

    -- Stefan Krause

    [16] BULGARIAN PRIME INTEREST RATE CUT.

    The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) on 17 October cut the monthly prime interest rate from 25% to 20%, international media reported. Less than a month ago, the interest rate was hiked considerably (see ). Standard commented

    that the new rate is intended to "trick" the electorate before the 27 October presidential elections. Trud noted that only one day earlier, BNB Governor Lyubomir Filipov had said there were no objective reasons to cut the interest rate. No current BNB official commented on the move, but former Deputy Governor Emil Harsev said this decision will barely affect the economy. However, the Bulgarian media believes that the lev will lose strongly against the U.S. dollar now and that the prices of all goods will go up immediately. -- Maria Koinova

    [17] MORE OBSERVERS WITHDRAW FROM ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    The OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly has withdrawn its 19 monitors for the Albanian elections, following the example of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Reuters reported. The OSCE issued a statement saying that the Albanian authorities' decision not to accept the ODIHR's list of 37 observers is "extremely regrettable [and] unacceptable within internationally accepted observation criteria." According to the OSCE's 1990 Copenhagen Human Dimensions Document, participating states are committed to admit observers from "any other participating states and any appropriate private institutions." The Albanian government has accepted only 15 ODIHR accreditations for the 20 October elections. However, the U.S., Italy, and the Council of Europe will send monitors. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [18] KOSOVO ALBANIAN ARRESTED IN TIRANA FOR SELLING MARXIST LITERATURE.

    An Albanian court has sentenced 37-year-old Nusret Recica from Kosovo to 10 months in prison for disseminating "anti-constitutional propaganda," AFP reported on 18 October. Recica was arrested for selling works by Marx, Lenin, and former Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha on the streets of Tirana. Marxist writings and those of former Albanian communist leaders have been banned since April 1992. -- Dukagjin Gorani

    Compiled by Steve Kettle 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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