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OMRI Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 218, 96-11-11

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

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

Vol. 2, No. 218, 11 November 1996


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] SOUTH OSSETIYA'S SUPREME SOVIET CHAIRMAN ELECTED PRESIDENT.
  • [02] BEREZOVSKII IN TBILISI.
  • [03] NEW CABINET FORMED IN ARMENIA.
  • [04] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ENDS HUNGER STRIKE.
  • [05] NAZARBAYEV CRITICIZES UNIONS, MEDIA, NATIONAL BANK.
  • [06] FIRST FOREIGN-OWNED BANK TO OPEN IN KYRGYZSTAN.
  • [07] TAJIK OPPOSITION RELEASES PRISONERS.

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [08] NATO TO DISCUSS NEW FORCE FOR BOSNIA.
  • [09] IZETBEGOVIC WANTS EU MANDATE IN MOSTAR EXTENDED.
  • [10] MLADIC'S OFFICERS REFUSE TO ACCEPT HIS OUSTER.
  • [11] MUSLIMS, SERBS CONFRONT EACH OTHER.
  • [12] MILOSEVIC ASKS UN TO STAY IN EASTERN SLAVONIA.
  • [13] CAN SLOVENIA'S PREMIER FORM THE NEXT GOVERNMENT?
  • [14] SEATS DISTRIBUTED IN ROMANIA'S NEW PARLIAMENT.
  • [15] MOLDOVA ACCEPTED INTO THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE.
  • [16] BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER UNSURE ABOUT HIS POLITICAL FUTURE.
  • [17] FIGHT CONTINUES OVER ALBANIAN TRADE UNIONS.
  • [18] EU GRANTS ALBANIA 33 MILLION ECU.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] SOUTH OSSETIYA'S SUPREME SOVIET CHAIRMAN ELECTED PRESIDENT.

    Lyudvig Chibirov was elected president of South Ossetiya, a former autonomous oblast of Georgia, on 10 November, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 November. The Georgian Supreme Soviet abolished the region's formal autonomous status in 1990. Of the six candidates, Chibirov received 65% of the vote and former Prime Minister Vladislav Gabaraev, who advocates South Ossetiya's secession from Georgia and its unification with North Ossetiya within the Russian Federation, won about 20%. Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said the election was "unlawful." Chibirov has rejected Georgian arguments that the vote could jeopardize a political agreement on the region's future status in Georgia. -- Liz Fuller

    [02] BEREZOVSKII IN TBILISI.

    Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Boris Berezovskii discussed the Chechen conflict and Russian-Georgian relations with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze during a visit to Tbilisi on 8 November, Russian media reported. Berezovskii dubbed Shevardnadze "the patriarch of the Caucasus" and termed his experience "unique," and called for the creation of a new infrastructure that would permit an integrated approach to structuring relations between the various Caucasian states taking into account their disparate interests, according to ORT. -- Liz Fuller

    [03] NEW CABINET FORMED IN ARMENIA.

    Newly appointed Prime Minister Armen Sarkisyan received formal endorsement from President Levon Ter-Petrossyan for his new cabinet on 8 November, international media reported the same day. The interior and national security ministries have been merged into a single ministry headed by Serzh Sarkisyan. The influential defense minister, Vazgen Sarkisyan, retained his post. Ter- Petrossyan signed a decree appointing former Interior Minister Vano Siradeghyan to the post of Yerevan mayor. New to the cabinet are Armenia's former representative to the UN, Alexander Arzumanyan (foreign minister), former Communist Party leader Vladimir Movsisyan (agriculture minister), former Armenian Komsomol First Secretary Hranush Hakobyan (social welfare minister). -- Emil Danielyan

    [04] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ENDS HUNGER STRIKE.

    Vahan Hovannesyan, a leader of the banned Armenian Revolutionary Federation- Dashnaktsutyun party (HHD), ended the hunger strike that he began on 29 October to protest the continuous delays in his trial, AFP reported on 8 November. Several of Hovannesyan's supporters joined the hunger strike in solidarity with him in Yerevan's Freedom Square. Hovannesyan and 31 other members and supporters of the HHD were arrested in July 1995 on charges of plotting a coup Hovannesyan and the HHD have repeatedly accused the Armenian authorities of staging a political trial in order to outlaw one of the strongest opposition parties. -- Emil Danielyan

    [05] NAZARBAYEV CRITICIZES UNIONS, MEDIA, NATIONAL BANK.

    Kazakstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev told leaders of trade unions and public movements on 5 November not to make trouble during this difficult stage of Kazakstan's economic transformation, according to a 6 November report on Kazak TV monitored by the BBC. Nazarbayev was referring to the "Day of Poverty" demonstrations held in mid-October to protest unpaid wages and pensions. Nazarbayev was also critical of the media for joining the protests, and thereby "violating the constitution and all laws of the state." He went on to criticize the National Bank for not fulfilling orders to pay back wages and pensions and not working with other state bodies to solve the issue. -- Bruce Pannier

    [06] FIRST FOREIGN-OWNED BANK TO OPEN IN KYRGYZSTAN.

    A new bank called DemirKyrgyz International Bank (DIB) will soon open in Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL reported on 7 November. The bank's principal shareholder is the Demirbank of Turkey which has a 60% stake in the new bank. However, the EBRD is providing $300,000 for the bank and will provide a $2 million credit line for short- and medium-term financing in Kyrgyzstan's private sector once DIB begins operating. -- Bruce Pannier

    [07] TAJIK OPPOSITION RELEASES PRISONERS.

    Tajik opposition forces have freed the last of 37 police hostages they captured on 24 October near Komsomolabad, AFP reported on 8 November. The release of the remaining hostages comes after the government freed four members of the opposition held in government jails. -- Bruce Pannier

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [08] NATO TO DISCUSS NEW FORCE FOR BOSNIA.

    NATO diplomats met on 11 November in Brussels to discuss proposals for a new military force for Bosnia to replace the present NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) next year, international agencies reported. No firm decision is expected before the Paris meeting on Bosnia on 14 November. NATO military leaders have drawn up four options for the new force. The most likely to be adopted is Option C, which calls for a multinational force of 20,000-30,000 to remain in Bosnia for a further year, backed by rapid intervention units based in region. The other options -- Option A, that IFOR force withdraw without replacement; Option B, that a simple dissuasion force remain with no fighting troops; and Option D, that a mission be launched on the same scale as IFOR with the same number of soldiers -- are unlikely to be chosen. Meanwhile, U.S. President Bill Clinton said on 10 November that the U.S. troops could remain in Bosnia after December as part of a "smaller mission," AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [09] IZETBEGOVIC WANTS EU MANDATE IN MOSTAR EXTENDED.

    The chairman of Bosnia's collective presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, appealed for an extension of the European Union mission in the divided city of Mostar before its mandate expires at the end of the year, Oslobodjenje reported on 11 November. Izetbegovic wrote to EU ministers urging the mission to stay to help reunify the city and praising the work of the EU administrator of Mostar, Sir Martin Garrod. Meanwhile, UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko said that armed Bosnian Croat special police had agreed to disband their units in line with a request from the UN police, AFP reported on 9 November. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [10] MLADIC'S OFFICERS REFUSE TO ACCEPT HIS OUSTER.

    Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic on 9 November fired the Republika Srpska's military commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, Nasa Borba reported on 11 November. Gen. Zdravko Tolimir, Gen. Milan Gvero, and other top military leaders were also sacked in the civilian leadership's latest and well-planned move against the unruly military, which has close links to Belgrade. The new chief of staff is Gen. Pero Colic, and his deputy is Gen. Dragan Josipovic. AFP quoted the Belgrade paper Blic, however, as saying that Mladic's staff refuses to accept the dismissal. Reuters added that the entire command is ignoring the changes despite their approval by parliament. Plavsic had cited pressure from the international community because of Mladic's indictment for war crimes as a reason for his ouster, but the Republika Srpska constitution bans his extradition to The Hague. -- Patrick Moore

    [11] MUSLIMS, SERBS CONFRONT EACH OTHER.

    Over 100 Muslims marched across the inter-entity boundary toward Koraj in northern Bosnia on the morning of 11 November to go home to their village, which is now under Serb control. A UN police spokesman said that shots were fired from the Serb side, but it is not clear whether anyone was wounded, AFP reported. This is but the latest case of force being used to deter refugees from exercising their right, guaranteed by the Dayton agreement, to return to their homes. The Muslims said they had applied through UN channels to go home but had received no reply. In a related story, eight Muslim homes were blown up in the Serb-held strategic Brcko area late in the night of 9 November, Onasa reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [12] MILOSEVIC ASKS UN TO STAY IN EASTERN SLAVONIA.

    Meeting on 8 November with Jacques Klein, head of the UN transitional administration in eastern Slavonia, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic asked that the UN mandate in the area be extended by a year, AFP reported. Eastern Slavonia is the last Serb-held part of Croatia. Federal Yugoslavia sent a letter to the Security Council officially requesting a year-long extension of the mandate and saying that a shorter mandate could threaten regional stability through the prospect of a mass exodus of tens of thousands of Serbs. Meanwhile, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, who agreed in principle that the UN mandate be extended for six more months, met on 9 November with local Serb leaders for the first time, Reuters reported. Serb representative Vojislav Stanimirovic said he hopes that regional elections will be possible in March 1997 and that all local Serbs, not just original prewar residents, will be able to vote. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [13] CAN SLOVENIA'S PREMIER FORM THE NEXT GOVERNMENT?

    Janez Drnovsek's Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) emerged the strongest after the 10 November parliamentary elections, STA reported the same day. With nearly all votes counted, the LDS has 27.1%, an increase of some 3% from its share in the 1992 elections. Drnovsek told TV Slovenija that the largest parliamentary party should be asked to form a government but questions have already arisen about how stable one anchored by the LDS can be. Two rightist parties, Marjan Podobnik's Slovenian People's Party and Janez Jansa's Social Democrats, are making inroads. Podobnik said the priority is to form a coalition government of rightist parties under the "Slovenian Spring" banner, but he does not rule out cooperation with Drnovsek. Projections have the LDS winning 25 of 90 seats, with Podobnik's party second gaining 19, and Jansa's third with 16. -- Stan Markotich

    [14] SEATS DISTRIBUTED IN ROMANIA'S NEW PARLIAMENT.

    The Central Electoral Bureau released final data on the distribution of parliamentary seats among the six parties that passed the 3% hurdle, Radio Bucharest reported on 10 November. The number of seats for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, respectively, are as follows: Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR): 53, 122; Party of Social Democracy in Romania: 41, 91; Social Democratic Union (USD): 23, 53; Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR): 11, 25; Greater Romania Party: 8, 19; and the Party of Romanian National Unity: 7,18. In addition, 15 minority organizations have each received a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. The CDR-USD governmental coalition has a majority of 53% in the Senate and of 51% in the Chamber of Deputies. With the support of the UDMR the coalition could reach a majority of about 60% in both chambers. -- Zsolt Mato

    [15] MOLDOVA ACCEPTED INTO THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE.

    Moldova on 9 November became the 16th member of the Central European Initiative, RFE/RL reported the same day. Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov said his country's acceptance into the regional cooperation organization means Moldova is viewed as a Central European state in all respects. In other news, preparations continue for Moldova's 17 November presidential elections. The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) settled the problem of voting in the breakaway Dniester republic, Infotag reported on 8 November, setting up 12 polling stations where Dniester residents can cast their votes. The CEC accused the Dniester authorities of violating citizens' right to vote by failing to establish electoral constituencies. -- Zsolt Mato

    [16] BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER UNSURE ABOUT HIS POLITICAL FUTURE.

    Zhan Videnov will ask for a confidence vote during the plenary meeting of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 11 November, Bulgarian and international media reported. But Videnov said on 9 November he does not know whether he will survive such a vote since the majority in his favor "is not very stable right now." Videnov came under strong pressure after the BSP candidate's weak showing in the recent presidential election and a call for a new government by 19 top BSP members. One party official told RFE/RL that political "bloodshed" is expected at the plenary meeting. In other news, a gun with a silencer was found hidden behind the radiator in the entrance hall of a house near where former Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov was murdered on 2 October, RFE/RL reported on 8 November. -- Stefan Krause

    [17] FIGHT CONTINUES OVER ALBANIAN TRADE UNIONS.

    Democratic Party (DP) legislator Azem Hajdari and his followers tried to break into the congress of the Independent Trade Unions (BSPSH) on 9 November and to forcefully take over its headquarters, but police intervened. The DP publicly distanced itself from Hajdari, Zeri i Popullit reported on 10 November. Hajdari, meanwhile, called for a mass demonstration on 12 November against current BSPSH leader Valer Xheka. Xheka called Hajdari an adventurer and said the current leadership enjoyed the support of all BSPSH branches. He also brought legal charges against Hajdari. Hajdari on 8 November got a writ of mandamus blocking the bank accounts of the BSPSH, but the next day the court lifted the ruling, ATSH reported. Elsewhere, police detained three participants in the 5 November rebel congress at which Hajdari was elected new trade union leader, Koha Jone reported on 10 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [18] EU GRANTS ALBANIA 33 MILLION ECU.

    The European Union on 8 November granted Albania 33 million ECU ($42 million), Rilindja Demokratike reported. The money is for reform measures and infrastructure projects including modernizing the judicial and education systems, supporting market economy reforms, and improving roads. The EU representative in Albania, Elio Germano, claimed that relations between the EU and Albania had normalized. The EU has granted Albania a total of 212 million ECU until 2000. -- Fabian Schmidt

    Compiled by Steve Kettle and Susan Caskie
    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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