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OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 215, 96-11-06

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

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

Vol. 2, No. 215, 6 November 1996


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] MORE KARABAKH DIPLOMACY.
  • [02] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION CRITICIZES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT.
  • [03] UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER IN GEORGIA.
  • [04] TAJIK GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION COURT NATIONAL REVIVAL MOVEMENT.

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [05] BOSNIA'S PRESIDENCY MEMBERS DISAGREE OVER CABINET.
  • [06] FEDERAL YUGOSLAV ELECTION RETURNS UPDATED . . .
  • [07] . . . WHILE OPPOSITION REMAINS CRITICAL OF THE PROCESS.
  • [08] FATE OF SERBIAN LABOR LEADER MAY STILL BE IN LIMBO.
  • [09] CROATIA ENTERS COUNCIL OF EUROPE . . .
  • [10] . . . BUT OPPOSES EU'S REGIONAL APPROACH ON MEMBERSHIP.
  • [11] VICTORY OF OPPOSITION CONFIRMED IN ROMANIA.
  • [12] ARMS STOLEN FROM DNIESTER MILITARY BASE.
  • [13] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION RULES OUT COALITION WITH SOCIALISTS.
  • [14] ALBANIAN APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCES FOR EX-COMMUNISTS . . .
  • [15] . . . AND JUDGE'S HOUSE GETS BOMBED.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] MORE KARABAKH DIPLOMACY.

    The chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Xavier Ruperes, held talks in Baku on 5 November with Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev, Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov, and representatives of the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front and Party of National Independence of Azerbaijan, Turan and ITAR-TASS reported. Ruperes advocated direct bilateral talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan to expedite a political solution to the Karabakh conflict. On 4 November, Aliev's special advisor, Vafa Gulu-Zade, left Baku to meet at an undisclosed European location with his Armenian counterpart, Zhirair Liparitian. They were to discuss the progress achieved on the Declaration of Principles that is due to be signed by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the OSCE heads of state summit in Lisbon in early December. -- Liz Fuller

    [02] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION CRITICIZES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT.

    Shavarsh Kocharyan, the Constitutional Court representative of defeated presidential candidate Vazgen Manukyan, said the court "violates the principles of equality and transparency" in validating the 22 September election results, Noyan Tapan reported on 5 November. The opposition appealed to the court on 24 October, asking it to annul the vote. Kocharyan claimed that numerous documented cases of irregularities are not being addressed. According to him, Manukyan asked the court to return property and documents from his campaign headquarters seized by the Interior Ministry, but this was refused on the grounds that the court "is not empowered to solve this problem." Kocharyan said the Ministry's actions amount to a virtual suspension of the party, which, according to Armenian law, only the Constitutional Court has the right to decide. -- Emil Danielyan

    [03] UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER IN GEORGIA.

    Pavlo Lazarenko arrived in Tbilisi on 4 November for a three-day visit and met with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze to discuss bilateral cooperation, ITAR-TASS reported. On 5 November Ukrainian and Georgian officials signed a series of bilateral agreements, including one on military technical cooperation. The issue of transporting Caspian oil from Azerbaijan via Georgia to Ukraine was also discussed, according to Radio Mayak. -- Liz Fuller

    [04] TAJIK GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION COURT NATIONAL REVIVAL MOVEMENT.

    Since the start of November, both the Tajik government and opposition have made overtures to the National Revival Movement founded last spring by three former prime ministers. The United Tajik Opposition (UTO) announced that the movement would be included at the next round of peace talks, and that one UTO leader, Ali Akbar Turajonzoda, had met with the movement's co-founder, Abdumalik Abdullajonov, in Tashkent recently. Following this meeting, UTO leader Said Abdullo Nuri said that cooperation with the movement was possible, according to a Voice of Free Tajikistan radio broadcast monitored by the BBC. ITAR-TASS reported on 5 November that President Imomali Rakhmonov met with the other two leaders of the movement, Jamshed Karimov and Abdujalil Samadov, after they arrived in Dushanbe on 3 November, and appointed Karimov as a senior aide for foreign affairs. -- Bruce Pannier

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [05] BOSNIA'S PRESIDENCY MEMBERS DISAGREE OVER CABINET.

    The three members of Bosnia's presidency on 5 November failed to agree on cabinet portfolios, AFP reported. According to a Western diplomatic source in Sarajevo, the disagreement of Bosnian Muslim Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnian Serb Momcilo Krajisnik, and Bosnian Croat Kresimir Zubak is due to the competing interests of Bosnia's communities. The presidency is responsible for foreign policy, the budget, and appointing ambassadors, while each of the two entities is in charge of its own interior, justice, and defense ministries. Krajisnik has complained about some of Bosnia's ambassadors, whom he felt were representing only Muslims. The prime minister's post also represents a problem; it should go to a Bosnian Serb, as it is the country's second-biggest community, but it is unlikely representatives will propose a moderate rather than a hardliner, whom the other communities are unlikely to accept. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [06] FEDERAL YUGOSLAV ELECTION RETURNS UPDATED . . .

    With nearly 85% of the votes tabulated from the 3 November federal elections, the leftist coalition of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and those parties supportive of the left are projected to have secured at least 64 of 138 seats. The main opposition Zajedno coalition trails with 22 seats, while the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party controls 16. Vecernje novosti on 5 November reported that 63.11% of eligible voters cast ballots federally. The daily also observed that of the 30 federal seats apportioned to Montenegro, a full 21 may be controlled by the Montenegrin governing party, the Democratic Socialist Party. Meanwhile, in Montenegrin republican elections, the governing party won 45 of 71 legislative seats. Its main rival, the National Unity coalition, picked up 19, while the Party of Democratic Action won 3, and the Democratic League of Montenegro and the Democratic League of Albanians each won two. -- Stan Markotich

    [07] . . . WHILE OPPOSITION REMAINS CRITICAL OF THE PROCESS.

    Belgrade's independent daily Nasa Borba on 6 November continues to probe into allegations of electoral improprieties. Harun Hadzic, leader of the Party of Democratic Action, which secured 3 seats in Montenegro and one federally, observed that overall the elections "were neither free nor democratic," the paper reported. In addition to charges already leveled, Hadzic said that names of voters were not included on some rolls, thereby precluding eligible voters from exercising their franchise. -- Stan Markotich

    [08] FATE OF SERBIAN LABOR LEADER MAY STILL BE IN LIMBO.

    Dragoljub Stosic, head of the Belgrade municipal transit union, may still be in custody. Beta, on 4 November, reported that lawyers for the imprisoned Belgrade trade union leader were seeking his release by petitioning justices of the Fourth Municipal Court in Belgrade. On 1 November, public prosecutors raised objections and halted moves that may have resulted in Stosic's release. Stosic was arrested in late October when Belgrade police--including paramilitaries--broke up a transit strike (see ). Witnesses said Stosic

    was not involved in any criminal wrongdoing. And for their part, trade unionists involved in the strike have maintained their job action was both lawful and peaceful. -- Stan Markotich

    [09] CROATIA ENTERS COUNCIL OF EUROPE . . .

    Croatia became the 40th member of the Council of Europe on 6 November, international media reported. Membership was first approved in April, then delayed in May in an unprecedented decision over misgivings about Croatia at home and abroad. In October, the Council agreed to admit Croatia, citing its cooperation with Bosnia's peace accord, improvement of human rights and a "satisfactory" record of cooperation with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. But deputy head of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Zarko Puhovski said that Croatia "has not met all the conditions," AFP reported on 5 November. The UN Security Council has repeatedly criticized Croatia for its treatment of Croatian Serbs in that country. The International Crisis Group, a watchdog organization, on 5 November protested Croatia's admission to the Council before turning over indicted war criminals, Onasa reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [10] . . . BUT OPPOSES EU'S REGIONAL APPROACH ON MEMBERSHIP.

    Foreign Minister Mate Granic said on 5 November that Croatia is opposed to the EU's group approach to bids for membership by the countries of former Yugoslavia, AFP reported. Granic said that making Croatia's entry into the EU conditional upon an association with the countries of southeast Europe was unacceptable. Granic said to his Italian counterpart Lamberto Dini that Croatia insists on an individual approach "taking into account the level of development and democratization of each of the states concerned." Italy and Croatia on 5 November signed a treaty on protection for Croatia's Italian minority, and a treaty on the promotion and protection of bilateral investments, Hina reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [11] VICTORY OF OPPOSITION CONFIRMED IN ROMANIA.

    With 99% of the votes counted in the 3 November elections, the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) seems a sure winner, capturing around 30% of the votes, Romanian media reported. Observers from the Council of Europe and the OSCE on 5 November described the elections as free and generally fair. The monitors, however, cited irregularities and some lack of transparency. Meanwhile, the Bucharest-based Adevarul on 6 November wrote that talks for forming a new cabinet had already begun between the CDR and the Social Democratic Union (USD) of former Premier Petre Roman, which came in third with around 13% of the votes. The USD is said to claim 30% of cabinet portfolios, while the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, another potential participant in the coalition ruling, wants the justice and finance cabinet posts. -- Dan Ionescu and Zsolt Mato

    [12] ARMS STOLEN FROM DNIESTER MILITARY BASE.

    A gang of masked men attacked a former Soviet military barracks in the Dniester region and stole more than 30 automatic rifles, Reuters reported on 5 November. The incident, in which one sentry was killed, took place in the town of Bendery. According to a local official, the guns were stolen by a group of Dniester gangsters to settle scores with rival criminal groups. Gang warfare has become endemic in the region. -- Dan Ionescu

    [13] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION RULES OUT COALITION WITH SOCIALISTS.

    Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) Chairman Ivan Kostov on 5 November said the opposition will not form a coalition with the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) "in this parliament," international media reported. He called on the BSP to continue restitution of farmland, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and to protect the private sector. Kostov's statement came only one day after 19 leading BSP members from various inner-party platforms demanded Prime Minister Zhan Videnov's resignation, and two days after the opposition's Petar Stoyanov won the presidential elections with a 20% margin over the BSP candidate, Culture Minister Ivan Marazov. Recently, speculation sprung up that the BSP might try to form a coalition government, but also that early elections might be held next spring if the crisis within the BSP is not resolved or splits the party. -- Stefan Krause

    [14] ALBANIAN APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCES FOR EX-COMMUNISTS . . .

    The appeals court led by chief judge Prel Martini on 5 November has upheld prison sentences of up to 20 years on nine high ranking communist-era officials, Reuters reported on 6 November. The nine were sentenced on 28 September for sending thousands of dissidents into internal exile. They included party leaders from Tirana, Lushnja, Fier, and Kruja, as well as secret police and Interior Ministry officials. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [15] . . . AND JUDGE'S HOUSE GETS BOMBED.

    An explosion wrecked the apartment of appeals court judge Martini shortly after midnight on 6 November, Reuters reported. The bomb severely injured his five-year-old daughter and also wounded Martini, his seven-year-old son and two women in adjoining apartments. The fourth and fifth floors of the building in central Tirana were badly damaged. Prime Minister Alexander Meksi visited the scene and described the explosion as a terrorist act with a political motive. -- Fabian Schmidt

    Compiled by Steve Kettle and Valentina Huber
    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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