YELTSIN NAMES BEREZOVSKII AS DEPUTY SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY.
President Yeltsin named Boris Berezovskii and Col. Gen. Leonid Maiorov as
deputy Security Council secretaries, ITAR-TASS reported 29 October. Berezovskii
is a wealthy businessman, director of LogoVAZ, and the key figure controlling
Russian Public TV (ORT). Maiorov, formerly first deputy commander of the CIA
armed forces, will handle issues relating to the military industrial complex
and Chechnya. Berezovskii said that "Russia's strategic security is connected
with the continuation of economic reforms" and that he would work in this area.
Berezovskii played a key role in Yeltsin's re-election campaign and helped
Presidential Chief of Staff Anatolii Chubais oust former Presidential Security
Service Director Aleksandr Korzhakov. He said that he would withdraw from
commercial enterprises while he holds the Security Council post. -- Robert
SELEZNEV CALLS FOR CHUBAIS TO STEP DOWN.
Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev
denounced Berezovskii's appointment as "one of the most serious mistakes in
personnel policy" and demanded the removal of Chubais, who he claimed is behind
Berezovskii's appointment. Seleznev accused Berezovskii of carrying out "an
anti-Russian informational coup on ORT" and warned that he now was going to
infiltrate "the holy of holies -- the security of the Russian state." The
Consultative Council, which brings together Seleznev, Chubais, Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin and Federation Council speaker Yegor Stroev is set to meet
on 1 November. Seleznev said that he would not take part in the meeting if
Chubais is present. -- Robert Orttung
YELTSIN'S SURGERY MAY BE NEXT WEEK.
American cardiologist Michael
DeBakey said in Houston on 29 October that the surgery on Yeltsin's heart could
take place as early as next week, Reuters reported. DeBakey, who will consult
with the medical team during the operation, is preparing to go to Russia later
this week. On the same day the Kremlin started issuing a medical bulletin about
Yeltsin's condition. -- Nikolai Iakoubovski
KREMLIN INTENDS TO CRACK DOWN ON "LEGAL SEPARATISM."
campaign to strengthen the Russian state, Anatolii Chubais chaired a 29 October
Kremlin conference on developing ways to prevent regional and local governments
from adopting laws that violate the Russian constitution and federal
legislation, NTV reported. Chubais proposed creating a single authority for
registering local and federal enactments, expanding the procurator's power, and
holding officials who sign documents in violation of federal law personally
responsible. The chairman of the Constitutional Court, Vladimir Tumanov,
pointed out, however, that the local procurators are very weak and would not be
effective enforcers. The conference noted that it would be a long and difficult
process to end Russia's "legal chaos." Kommersant-Daily on 30 October
suggested that Chubais is picking a fight with the regional elite and it is not
clear who is stronger. -- Robert Orttung
NATO WANTS PACT WITH RUSSIA BY 1997.
NATO Secretary-General Javier
Solana hopes a "solid" Russian-NATO agreement will be signed by early 1997,
Russian and Western agencies reported on 29 October. Solana said Russian
objections to the extension of NATO's military structures could be addressed by
modifying the 1990 CFE treaty, and declared that NATO has no plans to deploy
tactical nuclear weapons on Eastern European soil. Vladimir Nasinovskii, an
official of the Russian Security Council, assessed Solana's statement as a
response to President Yeltsin's proposal that such a pact be signed before NATO
accepts new members. A NATO spokesman later clarified that Russian-NATO talks
on the proposed pact have yet to begin. -- Scott Parrish
CIS DEFENSE COUNCIL REJECTS RUSSIAN NOMINEE.
The CIS Defense Ministers
Council met in Dushanbe on 29 October and rejected Russian President Boris
Yeltsin's nomination of General Mikhail Kolesnikov to head the CIS military
cooperation staff, AFP reported. The Uzbek delegation declared that a
non-Russian should now head the CIS staff, since its previous chief, Army
General Viktor Samsonov, was Russian. Most Russian news reports glossed over
this rejection, emphasizing the meeting's adoption of a regional "collective
security concept" which includes a "comprehensive plan" for dealing with the
situation on the Tajik-Afghan border. Defense ministers from all CIS members
except Moldova and Turkmenistan attended the meeting. -- Scott Parrish
PRIMAKOV IN MIDDLE EAST.
Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov began a
Middle East tour by meeting Syrian President Hafez Assad in Damascus and
Lebanese Foreign Minister Faris Bouez in Beirut, agencies reported on 29
October. Primakov's trip, designed to boost Russia's role in the Middle East
peace process, also includes stops in Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian
territories, and Jordan. In Beirut, Primakov criticized the Israeli government
of Benjamin Netanyahu for backtracking on commitments made by its predecessor.
He denied that Russia is competing with the U.S. in the region, saying "We are
not trying to go against the Americans." -- Scott Parrish
BATURIN: RUSSIAN MILITARY TOTALS 2.5 MILLION.
Defense Council Secretary
Yurii Baturin, in an interview with Itogi on 29 October, admitted "no
one can say how many people we have on active military service," Reuters
reported. He said the actual number of troops serving under the Defense
Ministry is about 2.5 million, not the frequently cited official figure of 1.5
million. Baturin said the larger figure includes "ghost" units not listed in
official budgetary documents, which partly explains the problem of military
wage arrears. He suggested a 50% cut to 1.25 million troops as part of a
military reform program. Baturin's numbers apparently do not include personnel
serving in other agencies, such as Interior Troops, Border Guards, and Railway
Troops, which could total another 1.8 million. -- Scott Parrish
RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS SOLD STUDY ON NUCLEAR TESTS TO U.S.
Under a 1992
contract with the U.S. Defense Department, scientists at the Arzamas-16 nuclear
weapons lab produced a report analyzing some 715 Soviet nuclear tests over a
41-year period, The Washington Post reported on 27 October. The
scientists each received about $500 for their work, which was designed in part
to keep them from peddling their skills outside Russia. The report, which
remains classified, does not discuss Soviet nuclear weapons design or
deployment, and its lead author, Aleksandr Chernyshev, insisted that all
materials used had been cleared for sharing with Washington. Defense Department
spokesmen said the data in the report would help monitor compliance with the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban and prevent nuclear proliferation. -- Scott
KRASNODAR TO HOLD NEW ELECTIONS.
In a reversal of an earlier decision
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 October 1996), the Krasnodar Krai legislature
has declared the 27 October gubernatorial elections in the Krai invalid due to
a low turnout: only 43% of voters participated, short of the required 50%, NTV
reported on 29 October. Krasnodar's legislature set new elections for 22
December and lowered the minimum turnout required to 25%. The main contenders
are likely to be the opposition-backed Nikolai Kondratenko and the incumbent
Nikolai Yegorov. On 27 October Yegorov won 25% of the vote to Kondratenko's
57%. -- Anna Paretskaya in Moscow
REGIONAL SEPARATISM INCREASING.
In the wake of the Yamal-Nenets
legislature's decision not to participate in the Tyumen Oblast gubernatorial
elections on 22 December, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug legislature voted 29
October not to participate in the Arkhangelsk Oblast gubernatorial and
legislative elections set for 8 December, ITAR-TASS reported. The
administration of the Burlinskii Raion of Altai Krai also decided to hold a
referendum on seceding from Altai Krai and joining Novosibirsk Oblast on 17
November, the day of gubernatorial elections. Since regional borders can only
be changed with the support of all the federation members concerned, the
referendum will not resolve the issue. -- Robert Orttung and Ritsuko Sasaki
STUDENT RALLY IN ST. PETERSBURG.
About 2,000 students and their teachers
rallied in St. Petersburg on 29 October to demand higher grants and protest the
government's low funding of higher education. The meeting called on the
government to honor legislation stipulating that monthly student grants should
amount to double the minimum wage (150,000 rubles, or $27). Currently, they
receive half that amount. -- Penny Morvant in St. Petersburg
PRISON CONDITIONS CONDEMNED.
Andrei Babushkin, head of the human rights
group New House, detailed the appalling conditions in Russia's prisons at a
Moscow press conference on 28 October, AFP reported. Babushkin said that 208
people had died in prisons this year (which hold people awaiting trial, as
opposed to camps, where convicts are held). He cited the case of an actor,
Aleksandr Polyanin, who died in custody on 10 October after allegedly being
tortured. -- Peter Rutland
DUMA DEPUTIES CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY.
Gennadii Seleznev and Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Vladimir
Lukin sent a letter to President Yeltsin on 29 October calling for a moratorium
to be placed on the death penalty in Russia in line with the demands of the
Council of Europe, NTV reported. When Russia joined the Council of Europe early
this year it undertook to abolish the death penalty within three years. The CE
also called on Russia to end all executions immediately, but they have
continued. -- Penny Morvant in St. Petersburg
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES RE-ELECTS PRESIDENT.
Mathematician Yurii Osipov was
re-elected president of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN), Russian TV (RTR)
reported on 30 October. Addressing a general assembly of the Academy prior to
the vote, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promised that the government would
increase spending on scientific research, NTV and ORT reported on 29 October. A
leading academician went on a hunger strike recently to protest the lack of
funding for science. -- Penny Morvant in St. Petersburg
SOROS INTERNET PROGRAM REACHES FAR EAST.
Some 12,000 students and
teachers at the Far East State University in Vladivostok have been hooked up to
the Internet, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 October. The connection is part of the
5-year program, financed by philanthropist George Soros, to link 32 Russian
provincial universities to the world computer network, and follows similar
projects in Novosibirsk and Yaroslavl. An agreement on the program was signed
in March 1996 by Soros and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. -- Natalia
FOREIGN INVESTMENT STILL LOW.
According to preliminary estimates,
foreign direct investment (FDI) in Russia in 1996 will total only $800 million,
down from $1.5 billion in 1995, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 29
October. Political instability and a lack of clear rules governing taxation,
accounting, and property rights are named as the main reasons. In the first
eight months of 1996, 41% of FDI went into trade and services, 14% to financial
services, and 9% to the energy sector. Per usual, Moscow absorbed the bulk of
investment (47%), followed by Tatarstan and St. Petersburg (6% each), and
Western Siberia (5%). -- Natalia Gurushina
KARABAKH LEADER SAYS ELECTION WILL BE HELD.
Robert Kocharyan, the
president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, said on 28
October that the presidential election in Karabakh will be held despite
criticism from Azerbaijan and Russia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 October
1996), Noyan Tapan reported. Kocharyan predicted that the Nagorno-Karabakh
peace negotiations will drag on "for years" and did not expect any progress
from the upcoming OSCE summit. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department expressed
its concern over the planned election and warned against "complicating the
outcome of the OSCE's Minsk Group peace process," Turan reported on 29 October.
-- Emil Danielyan
OPPOSITION LEADERS ON ARMENIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT.
the leader of the Union of National Self-Determination, said he hopes that the
Armenian Constitutional Court will rule in favor of the opposition candidate
Vazgen Manukyan and annul the results of the 22 September presidential
elections, Noyan Tapan reported on 29 October. According to a leader of the
Scientific-Industrial and Civic Union, Suren Zolyan, the court cannot be
trusted because "it is not independent." Zolyan alleged that the judicial
branch did nothing to prevent human rights violations in Armenia, and therefore
"leadership cannot be changed through elections." -- Emil Danielyan
NAZARBAYEV REPLACES DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, SECURITY CHIEF.
Minister Garry Shtoik has been removed by Kazakstani President Nursultan
Nazarbayev, ITAR-TASS reported on 28 October. Shtoik was replaced by Dyusembai
Duseinov, an industry official. The following day Nazarbayev appointed
Beksultan Sarsekov as secretary of the country's Security Council, replacing
Baltash Tursumbayev. Continuing his changes, Nazarbayev on 30 October signed a
decree restructuring the country's executive branch, disposing of several
committees, among them the State Committee on Cooperation with CIS states,
RFE/RL reported. -- Bruce Pannier and Merhat Sharipzhan
TAJIK OPPOSITION MAKES NEW DEMANDS.
The United Tajik Opposition (UTO)
insists that the National Reconciliation Council that the UTO has proposed be
comprised 40% by the Movement for the Islamic Revival of Tajikistan, 40% by
other opposition groups, and just 20% by government representatives, ITAR-TASS
reported on 28 October. The next round of talks between the Tajik government
and UTO, to be held in Moscow, are not expected anytime soon, a spokesman for
the UTO said. -- Bruce Pannier
FOUR CENTRAL ASIAN STATES ATTEND TEHRAN CONFERENCE.
A conference on the
situation in Afghanistan opened in the Iranian capital Tehran on 29 October,
ITAR-TASS and IRNA reported. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said
"the countries in the region ... are obliged to do their utmost to put a stop
to outside interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs." Representatives
from all the Central Asian CIS states except Uzbekistan were at the conference
as well as Russia, Turkey, India, and envoys from the UN and the Organization
of the Islamic Conference. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia did not attend though
Velayati noted "they were invited." -- Bruce Pannier
CRIMEA AND THE BLACK SEA FLEET.
The Crimean Tatar Majlis (assembly)
assessed the Russian State Duma's appeal for Sevastopol of 24 October as a
territorial claim on Ukraine, Radio Ukraine reported on 26 October. The
Presidium of the Majlis urged President Leonid Kuchma to implement Article 17
of the constitution, which prohibits deployment of foreign military bases on
Ukrainian territory. Meanwhile, Crimean communists appealed to preserve a
single fleet as a common security guarantor for the CIS and as a counterbalance
to Turkey on the Black Sea, Ukrainian television reported on 29 October. The
same day ITAR-TASS reported that talks on resolving the details of the Black
Sea Fleet division began in Sevastopol. The head of the Russian navy's
radiation, chemical and biological defense, Viktor Zakharov, expressed surprise
that Ukrainian Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Yurii Kostenko wanted
the issue of pollution caused by the fleet included in negotiations. Zakharov
said the fleet caused no more environmental damage than regular merchant
vessels. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ustina Markus
UKRAINIAN FOREIGN NEWS.
Italian President Luigi Scalfaro ended a two-day
official visit to Ukraine on 29 October, international agencies reported.
Scalfaro's talks with his Ukrainian counterpart and parliamentary speaker
Oleksandr Moroz focused on security and Italian-Ukrainian economic relations.
Italy is Ukraine's second largest EU trading partner after Germany. -- Ustina
BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT THREATENS PARLIAMENT.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he
would dissolve parliament if the Constitutional Court ruled that his proposed
referendum was illegal, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported on 29 October. Last week
the court announced it would review Lukashenka's and parliament's draft
constitutions, and if it found they were actually new constitutions rather than
just amendments to the existing basic law, any referendum on them would not be
legal. -- Ustina Markus
FINAL REPORT ON COLLAPSE OF LATVIA'S BANKA BALTIJA.
parliament investigation panel's final report, issued on 29 October, concluded
that the spring 1995 bankruptcy of the Banka Baltija was caused by the
"continuous and systematic violation of the law" by its leadership, BNS
reported. It said that former board chairman Aleksandrs Lavent personally
decided all key issues in the bank and used its funds for his own transactions
while bank President Talis Freimanis was merely his tool. Lavent is currently
imprisoned while Freimanis is under house arrest. Their trial is expected to
begin in February. -- Saulius Girnius
LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT WANTS SAY IN FORMATION OF NEW GOVERNMENT.
Brazauskas said on 29 October that he did not see any sense in confronting the
new right-wing majority in the Seimas about forming a new government, Radio
Lithuania reported. The comment is assumed to mean that he will ask Gediminas
Vagnorius, the board chairman of the Homeland Union (Conservatives of
Lithuania) to be prime minister. Noting that the president has an important
role in foreign policy and is the commander of armed forces, Brazauskas asked
to be consulted on appointments of foreign, defense, and interior ministers. --
POLISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY ON 1949 POLISH-SWISS ACCORD.
to a report by Polish Foreign Ministry experts, Polish citizens' assets
deposited in Swiss banks might have been used to compensate Swiss citizens
whose property was confiscated by the Polish communist government (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 18 October 1996), Polish dailies reported on 26 October.
According to the Polish-Swiss accord, revenues from Polish coal exports to
Switzerland and Swiss bank deposits of heirless Poles, many whom were Jewish,
were transferred to the Polish National Bank's account "N" in the Swiss Central
Bank. Swiss citizens were then compensated from that account. Although the
Polish-Swiss agreement envisaged compensations be paid from Polish export
revenues, private account assets and income from exports might have merged,
said a Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman. He added that the 1949 accord was
illegal in its stipulations of how the accounts were administered. -- Beata
FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT AND SECRET FILES.
The State Security Office in
Poland (UOP) charged former Polish President Lech Walesa with illegal
possession of secret documents, Polish dailies reported on 30 October. Walesa
apparently received those documents when in office and did not return them when
leaving the office last December. He denied that he was illegally keeping any
secret documents, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. A
spokesman for President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Kwasniewski did not receive
any confidential papers from Walesa. -- Jakub Karpinski
SLOVAK OPPOSITION SIGN AGREEMENT.
The chairmen of three parliamentary
opposition parties--the Christian Democratic Movement, Democratic Union (DU),
and Democratic Party--signed a cooperation agreement on 29 October, Slovak
media reported. Sme noted that the "blue coalition" is in fact not a
coalition but an agreement; in its text it is explicitly written that the
parties have not agreed to a pre-electoral coalition. "The election strategy
and possible pre-election coalition have not yet been planned. This depends on
whether Slovakia will change from its [current] proportional system to a
majority system as heralded by the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS)," DU chairman Jozef Moravcik said.
-- Anna Siskova
SLOVAK TV BOARD CALLS FOR DIRECTOR'S DISMISSAL.
The Slovak TV (STV)
board on 29 October passed in a secret-ballot vote a proposal for STV Director
Jozef Darmo's dismissal, Radio Twist reported. The proposal, which followed a
complex evaluation of Darmo's activities since he took the post in December
1994, will be submitted to the parliament for approval. The board's deputy
chairman, Jergus Ferko, said the board is "dissatisfied that certain things at
STV are not developing in a socially beneficial [way]." Darmo has cut a number
of popular programs--particularly political satires--and turned the station
into a government mouthpiece. -- Sharon Fisher
NEW GAS PIPELINE LINKS HUNGARY, AUSTRIA.
Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula
Horn and Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky on 29 October opened a 117 km
natural gas pipeline between Gyor in northwest Hungary and Baumgarten, Austria,
Hungarian media reported. Hungarians believe that the new pipeline will
decrease Hungary's dependence on Russian energy sources. The investment cost
the Hungarian government and the Hungarian Oil and Gas Company 4 billion
forints ($69 million). On 20 October, a pipeline was also completed between
Slovakia and Baumgarten. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
TWO HUNGARIAN NATIONAL BANK VICE PRESIDENTS DISMISSED.
Two National Bank
(MNB) vice presidents were dismissed over a contractual error that cost the MNB
1.5 billion forints ($9.5 million), Hungarian media reported on 30 October.
According to the final report of an investigation into the 1992 agreement,
Sandor Czirjak and Frigyes Harshegyi--in a contract on exchange rate guarantees
with the Austrian bank Creditanstalt--made erroneous calculations. -- Zsofia
WAR CRIMINALS SERVE OPENLY WITH BOSNIAN SERB POLICE.
Colum Murphy, a
spokesman for the international community's High Representative, Carl Bildt,
said on 29 October that his office has known for some time that at least four
indicted war criminals work for the Republika Srpska police. The men are Mladen
Radic, Miroslav Kvocka, Nedjelko Timarac and Zeljko Mejakic, Reuters said. They
are serving in the Prijedor-Omarska area and are wanted for war crimes
allegedly committed in the Omarska or Keraterm concentration camps. Murphy
said, "We have sent letters. We have spoken to the leadership in Pale on the
subject," but added that war criminals should be arrested only "by those who
have the ability to do so," Onasa noted. Critics, however, have charged that
IFOR is concerned primarily with self-preservation and turns a blind eye to war
criminals. -- Patrick Moore
Meanwhile in Athens, Republika Srpska President Biljana
Plavsic said that her government has no intention of turning over indicted war
criminals Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic to the Hague-based tribunal,
AFP reported on 29 October. In Sarajevo, the Defense Ministry warned the U.S.
not to apply pressure on Bosnia to fire Deputy Minister Hasan Cengic, who has
close links to Iran, Reuters reported. -- Patrick Moore
BOSNIAN FEDERAL PARTNERS AGREE ON FLAG AND COAT OF ARMS.
Croat partners in the Bosnian Federation agreed on 25 October on a flag, coat
of arms and power-sharing in Sarajevo, Oslobodjenje reported the next
day. They also agreed on how to merge their police forces. One of the
agreements sets out how Sarajevo will be governed. Organization of the city
will be designed in three levels: as a nine-unit canton, as the
four-municipality city, and as the state district governed by
Bosnia-Herzegovina's government. In addition, the ruling Croatian Democratic
Community (HDZ), which threatened to boycott the newly elected federation
parliament unless it got a bigger share of power than the 4.7% of the vote it
won in Bosnia's general election, was given 20% of the seats reserved for
Bosnian Croats in the regional parliament. -- Daria Sito Sucic
SERBIAN POLICE "CRUSH" LOCAL TRANSIT STRIKE.
Belgrade police officers
broke up a strike by municipal transportation workers on 29 October, Nasa
Borba reported the following day (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 October
1996). According to Beta accounts, police, including special units from the
interior ministry and officers in full combat gear became violent, beating up
workers and forcibly apprehending and arresting Dragoljub Stosic, an opposition
candidate for the 3 November municipal elections in Belgrade and head of the
local Belgrade City Transportation Company trade union. Stosic's whereabouts
and condition reportedly remain unknown. One trade union official summed up the
police action as "most likely crushing the drivers' job action." Trade Union
leaders, however, have vowed to stage a major protest at city hall on 30
October if Stosic is not released. -- Stan Markotich
KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY THREATENS TO KILL ETHNIC ALBANIAN COLLABORATORS.
The mysterious Kosovo Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the killing of
a Serb police officer and a civil servant on 25 October near Podujevo, BBC
reported on 30 October. The group, reportedly also threatened to attack ethnic
Albanian collaborators with the Serb administration of Kosovo. Since January
the group has taken responsibility for the killing of nine Serbs. -- Fabian
THIRD OF CROATIAN SERBS GRANTED AMNESTY REARRESTED.
Of the 94 Croatian
Serbs recently released from prison under the new amnesty law 27 have been
rearrested, international agencies reported on 29 October quoting Hina.
Forty-five left for Serbia-Montenegro immediately upon release, while those
staying in Croatia were later arrested and charged with arson, rape, or murder.
Deputy Justice Minister Tomislav Penic said the amnesty law does not apply to
those charged with war crimes or criminal acts committed during the war. But
the Croatian Helsinki Committee accused Croatian authorities of manipulating
the amnesty law in order to intimidate remaining Serbs and scare others from
returning. -- Daria Sito Sucic
FEDERAL YUGOSLAV AND CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET.
Mate Granic of
Croatia and Milan Milutinovic of Serbia-Montenegro on 29 October met in Zagreb
to discuss the further implementation of the agreement on normalizing relations
between the two countries, Croatian and Serbian media reported. The two
ministers signed an agreement abolishing visa requirements for diplomats and
government officials. But federal Yugoslav citizens will still need visas to
enter Croatia, and Croatians must pay border-crossing fees and deposit their
passports at the border when they cross into Serbia-Montenegro. Granic and
Milutinovic announced a number of agreements regulating internal affairs,
social, and economic issues will be signed at the end of the year. Commissions
for railway and road restoration will start next week. Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman discussed with Milutinovic peaceful reintegration of eastern
Slavonia into Croatia. Tudjman said Croatia could not accept the six or 12
month extension of the UNTAES mandate but only a "three plus three" extension,
because of pressure by the general public. -- Daria Sito Sucic
In the latest survey by the daily Delo, the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) of Premier Janez Drnovsek continues to lead in
voter popularity ahead of the 10 November election, Reuters reported on 28
October. Delo showed the LDS with 11.6% of respondents' support, while a
poll by Dnevnik showed the party's popularity increasing from 12.7% of voter
support to 15.7%. Meanwhile, the rightist Social Democrats led by former
Defense Minister Janez Jansa continue to hold second place in many polls,
hovering around the 7% mark in popular support. Up to about 39% of the
electorate remains undecided. -- Stan Markotich
ROMANIAN ELECTORAL ROUND-UP.
Several newspapers on 29 October published
the results of a poll commissioned by the ruling Party of Social Democracy in
Romania (PDSR), which shows the PDSR and President Ion Iliescu in serious
decline over a period of 40 days. The confidential poll was conducted by the
IRSOP polling institute, and only partial results were made public. Ziua,
however, considers the results just another attempt to influence public
opinion and placate the opposition. Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei accused
the national TV station of sabotaging the electoral campaign of the opposition
Democratic Convention and its presidential candidate, Emil Constantinescu, by
airing its electoral spot under poor technical conditions.
MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN MOSCOW.
A parliamentary delegation
headed by Chairman Petru Lucinschi is in Moscow on an official visit,
BASA-press and Infotag reported. Lucinschi, presidential candidate in the 17
November election, is scheduled to meet with Russian Premier Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Russian Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin, the chairmen of
the two chambers, and other senior officials. On 28 October, Lucinschi
discussed with managers of the Russian gas monopoly, Gazprom, Moldova's debts
for gas deliveries and the possibility of increasing gas supplies this winter.
Political talks focused on the much-delayed ratification of the
Moldovan-Russian basic treaty and other bilateral documents, as well as on the
situation in Moldova's breakaway Dniester region. Earlier this month, two other
main presidential candidates, Premier Andrei Sangheli and incumbent President
Mircea Snegur, paid visits to Moscow. -- Dan Ionescu
FINAL RESULTS OF BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS . . .
Electoral Commission announced on 29 October the final results of the 27
October elections, national media reported. The united opposition candidates
Petar Stoyanov and Todor Kavaldzhiev, with 44.07% of the vote and the Bulgarian
Socialist's Party's (BSP) candidates Ivan Marazov and Irina Bokova with 27.01%,
will compete in 3 November runoffs. Coming in third were the Bulgarian Business
Bloc's Georges Ganchev and Arlin Antonov with 21.87%. Independent candidates
Alexander Tomov and Gen. Liudmil Marinchevski won 3.16% of the vote while
comedians Christo Boichev and Ivan Koulekov garnered 1.34%. The united
opposition won almost the share of votes it received in 1995 local elections,
while the BSP lost about one million supporters, Pari reported on 30
October. -- Maria Koinova
. . . CAUSE SOCIALISTS TO MULL OVER THEIR POOR SHOWING.
results are retribution for the [politics] of the Bulgarian Socialists Party,"
announced Alexander Lilov, former chair of the BSP consul during a plenum
meeting on 28 October, Demokratsiya reported on 30 October. Several
other BSP party members and deputies, meanwhile, alleged that the BSP's
constituency boycotted the policies of the government. For his part, Premier
Zhan Videnov declared on 29 October that the results are a vote against the
"social hardship that people suffer." He went on, denying rumors that BSP's
executive bureau demanded his resignation. He said that he will initiate calls
for an emergency BSP congress, should an election post mortem suggest the need
for such action. -- Maria Koinova
BRITAIN RETURNS ALBANIAN GOLD AFTER 50 YEARS.
Britain on 29 October
agreed to return 1.5 tons of gold worth $19 million, AFP reported. The money
was looted from the Albanian central bank by the Nazis in WWII and kept by the
Bank of England. Britain had blocked the gold because of a dispute over the
sinking of a British warship and the severe damage of another in the Corfu
straits in 1946. Britain had charged Albania with laying the mines that sunk
the warship and demanded compensation for the death of 44 British sailors.
Communist Albania had denied responsibility despite an International Court of
Justice ruling in 1949. It agreed in 1992 to pay $2 million in compensation.
Approval also had to be obtained from the U.S. and France, which were members
of the Tripartite Commission. The U.S. gave its approval in 1995 and France in
February 1996. -- Fabian Schmidt
FINAL ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS.
The Democratic Party won 58 of
the 64 town halls, and 268 of the 309 communes, international agencies reported
on 29 October. The Socialist opposition won only four town halls and 14
communes. The coalition of the National Front Party and the monarchist League
of the Right won the town hall in Shkoder and the National Front won another
four communes. The Human Rights Union Party, representing the ethnic Greek
minority in southern Albania, won one town hall and nine communes. The
Republican Party won in six communes, the Social Democratic Union in two and
the Christian Democrats in one. Independent candidates won in five communes.
Overall the Democratic Party won 52.5% of the vote for the party lists,
followed by the Socialists with 31.3%, the Republicans with 3.5% and the Center
Pole with 3.1%. The turnout was about 70%. -- Fabian Schmidt