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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 3, No. 169, 99-08-31

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 3, No. 169, 31 August 1999


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PARLIAMENT'S TASKS
  • [02] GEORGIA OPPOSES RUSSIAN PROPOSAL TO LIFT ABKHAZ SANCTIONS
  • [03] KAZAKH PRESIDENT REDEFINES ROLE OF STATE OIL COMPANY
  • [04] KAZAKHSTAN DELAYS DECISION ON RESUMPTION OF PROTON ROCKET
  • [05] KAZAKHSTAN'S OPPOSITION POLITICIANS, PENSIONERS MARK
  • [06] SECRET AMMUNITION CACHE DISCOVERED IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [07] KYRGYZ TROOPS HALT MILITANTS' ADVANCE...
  • [08] ...AS OFFICIALS PONDER OPTIONS

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [09] U.S. WARNS UCK...
  • [10] ...BUT ARE THE KOSOVAR GUERRILLAS LISTENING?
  • [11] RAHOVEC DEADLOCK CONTINUES
  • [12] UN SECURITY COUNCIL WANTS END TO VIOLENCE
  • [13] UNMIK CALLS ON KOSOVA FIRMS TO REGISTER
  • [14] 'FIRST SHOCK WAVES' FROM SERBIA'S NEW REFUGEES
  • [15] ALBANIAN LEADERS URGE VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS TO BE MORE
  • [16] KFOR, MACEDONIA TRADE CHARGES
  • [17] BATIC SETS CONDITIONS FOR SERBIAN ELECTIONS
  • [18] DODIK SAYS NO ELECTIONS IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
  • [19] EXPERTS FIND MASS GRAVES IN BOSNIA
  • [20] CALL FOR ETHNIC SERBS TO VOTE IN CROATIAN ELECTIONS
  • [21] 'TUTA' TO THE HAGUE THIS WEEK?
  • [22] MENINGITIS EPIDEMIC POSTPONES ROMANIAN SCHOOLYEAR
  • [23] ROMANIAN JOURNALIST SAYS HE WAS ORDERED TO WRITE ANTI-SEMITIC
  • [24] MOLDOVA TO RESTORE BULGARIAN DISTRICT?
  • [25] BULGARIAN CHIEF OF STAFF CRITICIZES PLANNED CUTS
  • [26] BULGARIAN COURT ORDERS REGISTRATION OF CONTROVERSIAL PARTY

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [27] FISCHER WINS, KLAUS LOSES

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PARLIAMENT'S TASKS

    Vazgen Sargsian

    appealed to parliamentary deputies on 28 August to cooperate

    with the government in overcoming Armenia's current problems,

    Noyan Tapan reported on 30 August. Sargsian identified three

    factors contributing to those problems: "confusion" following

    the collapse of the USSR and the war with Azerbaijan;

    inappropriate policy decisions by previous governments; and

    the "criminal activities" of unnamed individuals whom he said

    should be brought to account. Sargsian proposed that the

    parliament appoint special commissions to assess

    controversial privatization deals and to supervise the

    implementation of credit programs. He also urged deputies to

    enact legislation on credits, audits, and the civil service.

    "Iravunk" on 27 August estimated that more than 100 of the

    131 parliamentary deputies are either members of the

    Miasnutyun bloc, which unites Sargsian's Republican Party amd

    Karen Demirchian's People's Party of Armenia, or back the

    government's policies rather than risk falling out of favor

    with Sargsian. LF

    [02] GEORGIA OPPOSES RUSSIAN PROPOSAL TO LIFT ABKHAZ SANCTIONS

    Speaking in Tbilisi on 30 August at his weekly press

    briefing, President Eduard Shevardnadze strongly criticized

    Russian Border Guards commander General Konstantin Totskii's

    proposal that Moscow might unilaterally lift the "economic

    blockade" imposed on Abkhazia in 1996. That proposal,

    Shevardnadze said, is "unjustified" and exceeds the general's

    sphere of competence, Caucasus Press reported. Totskii had

    argued that Russia is entitled to take its own decisions

    regarding controls and restrictions on its borders.

    Shevardnadze claimed that the ban on allowing residents of

    Abkhazia to cross the border into the Russian Federation or

    Russian citizens from bringing goods into Abkhazia does not

    constitute a blockade, but rather economic sanctions. He

    added that such statements create tensions in bilateral

    relations. Georgian Border Guards chief General Valerii

    Chkheidze said any unilateral attempt by Russia to raise the

    blockade would violate bilateral agreements. In a 30 August

    statement, the Georgian Border Guard Service condemned

    Totskii's statement as directed against Georgia's sovereignty

    and territorial integrity. LF

    [03] KAZAKH PRESIDENT REDEFINES ROLE OF STATE OIL COMPANY

    Nursultan Nazarbaev has signed a new law detailing the status

    and duties of the state oil company KazakhOil, Interfax

    reported on 30 August. The law has not yet been published,

    but a spokesman for KazakhOil told Interfax that the company

    has approved its content. The law defines KazakhOil as a

    state company in which the state owns 100 percent of shares.

    It assigns KazakhOil the duty of monitoring the work of

    foreign oil companies operating in Kazakhstan to ensure they

    comply with Kazakh law and the terms of their contracts. And

    it includes a provision requiring all oil companies to engage

    the services of local companies to provide goods and

    services. LF

    [04] KAZAKHSTAN DELAYS DECISION ON RESUMPTION OF PROTON ROCKET

    LAUNCHES

    Kazakhstan has secured the indefinite postponement

    of a 30 August meeting between the Russian and Kazakh

    government commissions that assessed the damage caused by the

    July explosion of a Russian Proton rocket shortly after

    blastoff from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Interfax reported on

    30 August, quoting Russian Space Agency Deputy Director Boris

    Ostroumov. Ostroumov said that Kazakh experts have found more

    debris from the rocket and sent it to Moscow to determine

    whether it is contaminated with toxic heptyl fuel. The

    government commissions were to have agreed at the 30 August

    meeting on lifting the Kazakh ban on further launches of

    Proton rockets from Baikonur. LF

    [05] KAZAKHSTAN'S OPPOSITION POLITICIANS, PENSIONERS MARK

    CONSTITUTION DAY

    Pensioners in Almaty gathered in the city's

    central square on 30 August, the anniversary of the 1995

    adoption of Kazakhstan's Constitution, for their monthly

    demonstration to protest inadequate pensions, RFE/RL

    correspondents in the former capital reported. Opposition

    leaders Madel Ismailov (Workers Movement), Seydakhmet

    Quttyqadam (Orleu Party), and Ghaniy Qasymov (an independent

    presidential candidate who failed in his bid for that office

    earlier this year) took advantage of the public holiday to

    engage in electioneering, trying to persuade voters not to

    support the pro-presidential Otan (Fatherland) Party in the

    upcoming parliamentary poll. LF

    [06] SECRET AMMUNITION CACHE DISCOVERED IN KAZAKHSTAN

    Grenades,

    detonators, and two explosive devices have been discovered

    during the demolition of garages in Astana belonging to the

    Interior Ministry, ITAR-TASS reported on 30 August. It is

    unclear who owns the ammunition. LF

    [07] KYRGYZ TROOPS HALT MILITANTS' ADVANCE...

    The office of

    Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev issued a statement on 30

    August saying that earlier that day Kyrgyz troops engaged the

    guerrillas who had seized control of several villages in Osh

    Oblast and taken several dozen hostages, thereby preventing

    the guerillas from advancing further into Kyrgyz territory.

    The fighting took place in the Chon-Alai district. Also on 30

    August, General Bolot Djanuzakov, who heads the Defense and

    Security Department within the presidential administration,

    told journalists that Kyrgyzstan has lodged an official

    protest with Uzbekistan over Uzbek bombing raids the previous

    day over Chon-Alai and Batken Raions, in which several

    civilians were killed. The raids were intended to target the

    guerrillas. LF

    [08] ...AS OFFICIALS PONDER OPTIONS

    Kyrgyz Foreign Minister

    Muratbek Imanaliev said in Bishkek on 30 August that the

    Kyrgyz authorities are capable of localizing and neutralizing

    the guerrillas without outside help, Interfax reported. But

    the same day, Kyrgyzstan's First Deputy Prime Minister Boris

    Silaev met in Moscow with Russian Defense Minister Igor

    Sergeev to discuss the optimum tactics to use against the

    militants. In Almaty, Kazakhstan's acting Defense Minister

    Bakhytzhan Yertaev told Khabar News Agency that Kazakhstan

    will this week give Kyrgyzstan ammunition and some military

    hardware (but not armored vehicles) to combat the militant

    threat, Interfax reported. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [09] U.S. WARNS UCK...

    U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke

    said in Prishtina on 30 August that "ethnic differences in

    this region really are...just racism. The Serbs of this

    region have a historic right to live here, too." The

    ambassador stressed that Kosova is the "ultimate test for the

    UN's capability and its potential." Speaking at the same

    press conference, U.S. Senator Joseph Biden warned the Kosova

    Liberation Army (UCK) that it must meet its 19 September

    deadline to disarm completely: "If it appeared as though the

    very forces...and people we came to help were now not engaged

    on a path that was moving toward democratization, support

    from the U.S. Congress would evaporate overnight," Biden

    said. The senator warned against any attempts to partition

    Kosova on an ethnic basis. PM

    [10] ...BUT ARE THE KOSOVAR GUERRILLAS LISTENING?

    After meeting

    with Holbrooke, General Agim Ceku, who heads the UCK General

    Staff, said in Prishtina on 30 August that his organization

    will meet the deadline. He added, however, that "the UCK will

    transform in several directions.... One part will become part

    of the police, one part will become civil administration, one

    part will become the Army of Kosova, as a defense force. And

    another part will form a political party." Holbrooke refused

    to comment on Ceku's remarks. The June agreement between NATO

    and the UCK does not refer to any Kosova army. PM

    [11] RAHOVEC DEADLOCK CONTINUES

    On 30 August, ethnic Albanians

    began their second week of protest aimed at preventing

    Russian KFOR troops from entering their town (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 24 August 1999). Russian officers called off a

    planned meeting with local Albanians when the Russians

    learned that General Wolfgang Sauer could not be present at

    the talks. It is unclear why the German commander was not

    available. PM

    [12] UN SECURITY COUNCIL WANTS END TO VIOLENCE

    The UN's highest

    body said in a statement on 30 August that it condemns

    violence against civilians in Kosova, especially against

    members of ethnic minorities. The text also reaffirmed "the

    principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial

    integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," AP

    reported. PM

    [13] UNMIK CALLS ON KOSOVA FIRMS TO REGISTER

    Officials of the

    United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) called on import-

    export firms to register with UNMIK, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported on 30 August. UNMIK officials said that they

    want to introduce import-export permits to put an end to the

    current "chaos," which, they added, has been exploited by

    organized criminals from Albania. PM

    [14] 'FIRST SHOCK WAVES' FROM SERBIA'S NEW REFUGEES

    The school

    year is about to begin in Serbia, which for many communities

    has led to the first serious problems in conjunction with the

    170,000 refugees from Kosova, Belgrade's "Danas" reported on

    30 August. Many of the refugees are housed in schools, and

    alternative quarters are proving difficult to find. In

    Kraljevo, which is north of Kosova, there are 350 teachers

    and 3,500 school-age children among 26,000 refugees, but few

    of those children will be allowed to register for classes

    there. The Belgrade authorities insist that, wherever

    possible, refugee children return to schools in Kosova.

    Failing that, the children are to register in districts

    bordering the province. The only pupils who will be allowed

    to register elsewhere in Serbia are those whose parents were

    sent there by the government or their employer. PM

    [15] ALBANIAN LEADERS URGE VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS TO BE MORE

    ASSERTIVE

    President Rexhep Meidani and Prime Minister

    Pandeli Majko told visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor

    Orban in Tirana on 30 August that Vojvodina should have a

    "new status." The Albanian leaders did not elaborate, dpa

    reported. Majko said that unnamed Serbian politicians are

    speaking more about Serbia and less about Yugoslavia.

    Vojvodina Hungarians should also "think more about

    themselves," the Albanian prime minister commented. PM

    [16] KFOR, MACEDONIA TRADE CHARGES

    A KFOR spokesman said in

    Skopje on 30 August that a Norwegian peacekeeper being held

    by Macedonian authorities can be investigated or tried only

    by Norway in conjunction with a recent fatal traffic accident

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 August 1999). Macedonian media

    accused KFOR of "arrogant, violent, and insensitive behavior"

    since the peacekeepers arrived in the spring, Reuters

    reported. Interior Minister Pavle Trajanov demanded tighter

    controls by Macedonian authorities over the movements of KFOR

    forces. He called for a ban on helicopter flights over Skopje

    at night and for "regulation" of troop movements and

    soldiers' leaves. In Brussels, top NATO officials met with

    the Macedonian ambassador. The outcome of the talks is not

    known. PM

    [17] BATIC SETS CONDITIONS FOR SERBIAN ELECTIONS

    Vladan Batic,

    who is one of the leaders of the opposition Alliance for

    Change, said in Belgrade on 30 August that the alliance will

    not take part in any elections in which there are candidates

    whom the Hague-based war crimes tribunal has indicted. The

    alliance also insisted that persons whom the EU has banned

    from travel to EU states not be allowed to run for office.

    Observers note that these two conditions are tantamount to a

    rejection of any election in which Yugoslav President

    Slobodan Milosevic and his top officials participate.

    Elsewhere, a spokesman for Milosevic's Socialist Party said

    that there is no need for foreign monitors to observe any

    elections in Serbia. He added that "the stories of electoral

    fraud are unreal and so are the [opposition's] demands for

    OSCE monitors," AP reported. PM

    [18] DODIK SAYS NO ELECTIONS IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

    Nikola Poplasen,

    whom the international community's Carlos Westendorp has

    sacked as Republika Srpska president but who refuses to step

    down, wrote caretaker Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and

    parliamentary speaker Petar Djokic that parliamentary

    elections must be held soon. He argued that early elections

    are the only way out of a deadlock that has left the Bosnian

    Serb entity without a government for nearly a year, the

    Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported on 31 August.

    Dodik replied that Poplasen is no longer president and has no

    right to seek new elections. Dodik added that Poplasen's move

    was instigated by unnamed persons in Serbia in order to

    destabilize the Republika Srpska. He did not elaborate,

    Reuters reported. PM

    [19] EXPERTS FIND MASS GRAVES IN BOSNIA

    Forensics experts from

    the Muslim Commission for Missing Persons found a mass grave

    near Serb-held Teslic, in the Doboj region, Sarajevo's

    "Dnevni avaz" reported on 31 August. A commission spokesman

    said that the grave may contain the remains of more than 40

    Muslims. Experts recently exhumed a grave containing 10

    Muslims or Croats in the Serbian Sarajevo suburb of Grbavica.

    PM

    [20] CALL FOR ETHNIC SERBS TO VOTE IN CROATIAN ELECTIONS

    Milorad

    Pupovac, who is a political leader of Croatia's ethnic Serbs,

    told the Belgrade daily "Vecernje novosti" of 30 August that

    he wants Zagreb to allow Croatian Serb refugees living in

    Serbia to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He

    added that he believes that the international community will

    support his efforts. Observers noted that prior to the

    dissolution of former Yugoslavia in 1991, ethnic Serbs formed

    some 12 percent of Croatia's population. They now form

    perhaps 2 percent. The Croatian authorities are unlikely to

    allow the refugees to vote lest they tip the political

    balance in many districts. PM

    [21] 'TUTA' TO THE HAGUE THIS WEEK?

    A leading Croatian legal

    expert told "Jutarnji list" of 31 August that the authorities

    might extradite indicted war criminal Mladen "Tuta" Naletilic

    to The Hague as early as 2 September (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"

    30 August 1999). On 30 August, a Zagreb court ruled that Tuta

    is well enough to stand trial, overturning an earlier ruling

    that he is too ill to do so. In The Hague, chief prosecutor

    Louise Arbour told the Zagreb daily that Croatian President

    Franjo Tudjman actively sought the partition of Bosnia during

    the 1992-1995 conflict. She added, however, that this in

    itself does not constitute a war crime. PM

    [22] MENINGITIS EPIDEMIC POSTPONES ROMANIAN SCHOOLYEAR

    The start

    of the new school year has been postponed for at least one

    week in five Romanian counties and in Bucharest, RFE/RL's

    bureau in the capital reported. Nearly 4,000 cases of

    meningitis have been registered so far. Health Minister Hajdu

    Gabor said school directors who ignore the order will be sent

    to prison. MS

    [23] ROMANIAN JOURNALIST SAYS HE WAS ORDERED TO WRITE ANTI-SEMITIC

    ARTICLES

    Mihai Antonescu, told prosecutors that his former

    boss, publisher of "Atac la persoana" Dumitru Dragomir,

    ordered him to write anti-Semitic articles. Antonescu quit

    his job as the weekly's deputy chief editor last week and

    currently is being investigated on charges of incitement to

    racial hatred. Dragomir, who is one of the three deputy

    chairmen of the Romanian Soccer Federation (FRF), denies the

    allegation and claims Antonescu bears sole responsibility for

    the articles he wrote, Reuters reported on 30 August. The

    International Federation of Amateur Football has asked the

    FRF to investigate Dragomir's responsibility, following

    complaints by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 August 1999). MS

    [24] MOLDOVA TO RESTORE BULGARIAN DISTRICT?

    Petar Konstantinov,

    chairman of the Bulgarian National Committee for the

    Protection of Bulgarians Beyond Borders, told journalists in

    Sofia on 30 August that the Moldovan government has decided

    to restore the separate status of the Taraclia district, BTA

    reported. The district, whose population is 60 percent

    Bulgarian, was incorporated in the newly established Cahul

    County earlier this year. Konstantinov said this is the first

    time that the Bulgarian minority in Moldova has successfully

    protected its rights. He added that if the legislature

    rejects the government decision, the Bulgarians of Taraclia

    will hold elections on setting up a "self-governing

    authority." MS

    [25] BULGARIAN CHIEF OF STAFF CRITICIZES PLANNED CUTS

    General

    Miha Mihov on 30 August criticized the government's plans for

    cuts in the military over the next four years, AFP reported.

    Mihov told the daily "Standart" that the plans are

    "increasingly demoralizing and infuriating" members of the

    armed forces, creating "tension" and "insecurity" among them.

    Under the government plans, the armed forces will have only

    7,000 officers by 2004, instead of the current 15,000. The

    government, Mihov said, hopes this will improve Bulgaria's

    chances of joining NATO. Mihov also criticized the Defense

    Ministry for having no plans to help soldiers who are

    demobilized. MS

    [26] BULGARIAN COURT ORDERS REGISTRATION OF CONTROVERSIAL PARTY

    The Supreme Administrative Court has overturned the 25 August

    decision of the Central Electoral Commission to refuse to

    register the Ilinden United Macedonian Organization-PIRIN.

    The decision is final and cannot be appealed, BTA reported on

    30 August. PIRIN is the Bulgarian abbreviation for "Party of

    Economic Development and Integration of the Population" but

    is also the name of part of historical Macedonia that now

    belongs to Bulgaria. PIRIN was set up in 1998 and strives to

    preserve the traditions of Pirin Macedonians and refugees

    from Aegean Macedonia. The Constitutional Court has still to

    rule on an appeal by 61 deputies of various political stripes

    who want PIRIN outlawed on grounds of violating the

    constitutional provision that bans parties set up on ethnic

    or religious lines. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [27] FISCHER WINS, KLAUS LOSES

    By Victor Gomez

    Something is stirring in the Czech Republic's political

    morass. The overwhelming victory of a travel agency owner in

    a Senate by-election has galvanized both the media and the

    public and shaken up the country's political power-brokers.

    Riding on the fame of his successful travel agency and a

    large amount of campaign spending, Vaclav Fischer has swept

    into the Senate with the support of more than 71 percent of

    those who voted in his Prague district. In so doing, he

    crushed seven candidates who were all supported by political

    parties.

    However, it is easy to over-estimate the importance of

    high-profile by-elections. First, only 34 percent of eligible

    voters bothered to participate. The low turnout is in keeping

    with previous elections to the upper house and belies the

    ongoing public impression that the Senate is a useless and

    largely powerless public body. It should also be remembered

    that Fischer is by no means the first independent candidate

    to run in a Czech election. While Fischer may certainly have

    benefited from growing public frustration with politicians

    and parties, it should also be noted that few independent

    candidates have so much money and name-recognition. Thus,

    Fischer's success does not automatically mean that dozens of

    other Fischers will appear on the Czech political horizon in

    the near future.

    That said, this particular by-election is important for

    at least two reasons--one practical and the other symbolic.

    First, the election means that the parties of Prime Minister

    Milos Zeman and Chamber of Deputies Chairman Vaclav Klaus no

    longer have a constitutional majority in the Senate. This

    will make it more difficult for Klaus and Zeman to fulfill

    one of the key aspects of their so-called "opposition

    agreement." Under that agreement, the two parties are to use

    their constitutional majority to push through a package of

    constitutional and legal amendments designed to change the

    country's electoral system and alter the powers of certain

    state bodies. While the parties are still haggling over the

    electoral changes, they have come to a preliminary agreement

    on amendments that would limit certain presidential powers.

    For his part, Fischer has made it clear that he is

    opposed to the "opposition agreement" between Zeman and

    Klaus, as well as to their decision to use their parties'

    combined majority in the parliament to pass constitutional

    amendments. While Fischer has also said he is not opposed in

    principle to changing the electoral system, his animosity

    toward the "opposition agreement" itself makes it unlikely

    that he would support any major constitutional changes

    initiated by Zeman and Klaus. Since four of the other five

    parties represented in the Senate have said they are opposed

    to the package of amendments, that leaves the four Communist

    senators. The Communists have sent out mixed signals on the

    issue. On the one hand, the party has been a vocal opponent

    of the "opposition agreement." On the other hand, it has

    voiced support for the idea of restricting the president's

    powers.

    The issue appears to be a delicate one for the purveyors

    of the "opposition agreement." Neither Zeman nor Klaus will

    want to be seen making deals with Communist senators in order

    to pass changes to the constitution. Despite its recent

    success in public opinion polls, the Communist Party remains

    anathema to many Czechs and particularly within Klaus's Civic

    Democratic Party (ODS). Aware of this problem, some ODS

    members have started emphasizing that constitutional changes

    require the support of only a three-fifths majority of all

    Senators present at the time the vote is taken. In other

    words, the ODS has been reduced to hoping that at least one

    senator takes ill on the day the upper house is to vote on

    major changes to the constitution. In sum, Fischer's victory

    seems to have thrown a wrench into the workings of the

    "opposition agreement."

    However, this does not mean that Zeman and Klaus cannot

    go ahead with plans to change the electoral law. At present,

    the two parties are discussing the possibility of introducing

    "majoritarian elements" into the lower house's proportional

    representation system. Such changes would not require a

    constitutional amendment, and the two parties have a strong

    enough majority in both houses to pass any law they agree on.

    This leads to the second key aspect of Fischer's

    election. The fact that Klaus's party was defeated in the

    heart of a city considered an ODS stronghold is significant

    in its own right. Nevertheless, the defeat would not have

    acquired as much symbolic significance as it did if Klaus had

    not become so actively involved in the election campaign. He

    personally pushed his party into accepting the actress Jirina

    Jiraskova as its candidate. He attended many of her rallies

    and exhorted voters to support her. And he signed his name

    under advertisements and posters that not only emphasized the

    crucial importance of the vote but also contained personal

    attacks against Fischer.

    Thus, the result was not so much Fischer's victory as

    Klaus's defeat. Klaus staked his own popularity on a by-

    election that was supposed to result in a "comfortable"

    victory for his party--and lost. One wonders what voters

    might do if he forces through changes to the electoral system

    that are clearly designed to give his party a "comfortable"

    majority in the parliament.

    31-08-99


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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