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Yugoslavia: Nis Commission Restores Full Opposition Victory

Belgrade, 14 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The city election commission today fully restored an opposition victory in Serbia's second largest city of Nis, hours after it was reinstated in the capital of Belgrade.

The commission restored the remaining four seats to the opposition Zajedno (Together) coalition. The panel decided to award 41 seats to the Zajedno coalition, 28 to the Socialist-Yugoslav United Left coalition and one to the Radical Party.

The commission, acting 10 days ago on orders by the Serbian government, had restored only 37 seats to Zajedno, which immediately protested demanding all of the 41 seats it won at November 17 elections be reinstated.

The annulment of Zajedno's election victories in Belgrade and 13 other cities touched off mass opposition protests now in their ninth week. Hours earlier, the Belgrade city election commission had reinstated Zajedno's victory in the city assembly of the capital.

The breakthrough was confirmed by a member of the Together coalition reached by telephone from Belgrade, who said that the commission had attributed 41 of the 70 seats on the municipal council to the coalition.

Vuk Draskovic, one of the opposition leaders, told reporters in Belgrade that "the Nis commission has attributed victory" to the coalition, but gave no further details.