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OSCE Launches Bosnian Election Fund

Munich, April 17 (RFE/RL) - The international organisation responsible for arranging elections in Bosnia is launching an international fund-raising appeal to pay for election facilities.

The elections are the responsibility of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). A meeting of its Executive Troika - Hungary, Switzerland and Denmark - was told yesterday that present funds were insufficient and that at least 35 million dollars more was needed to ensure that the elections could be held in the best possible conditions.

An OSCE spokesman said today that a former Danish Foreign Minister, Uffe Elleman-Jensen, would be in charge of the fund-raising operation which will begin next week and continue for about a month. Elleman-Jensen will meet the OSCE election co-ordinator, Robert Frowick, in Geneva on Friday to discuss his plans.

An OSCE spokesman said this week's meeting of the Executive Troika also discussed other problems connected with the election. They included arrangements to ensure that refugees outside Bosnia-Herzegovina are still able to vote.

The elections must be held before mid-September. The Troika expressed concern that a free media and guaranteed freedom of movement, which are two of the conditions for holding the elections, are still not in place in Bosnia.

On Chechnya, the Executive Troika reaffirmed OSCE's willingness to assist a peace settlement. The OSCE sponsored talks last year between the separatists and the Russian side but they broke down when new fighting erupted. An OSCE mission led by a Swiss diplomat remains in Grozny, the Chechen capital.