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Serbia: Judges Protest Cancellation Of Election Results

Belgrade, 4 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - About 90 Serbian judges issued a letter of protest today against the cancellation of election results that has led to more than two weeks of demonstrations in Belgrade.

The judges have published an open letter demanding to see all documents on the basis of which Serbian courts annulled municipal election results of November 17 when the four-party opposition coalition Zajedno (Together) made significant gains.

The judges say if they determine that the courts have been abused, they will hold those responsible accountable.

"It is our aim to protect the honour and dignity of the courts," they said.

Five supreme court judges published a similar letter yesterday protesting the cancellation of the election results.

Zajedno supporters and students are planning to stage more demonstrations in Belgrade today while the Nezavisnost (Independence) trade union is calling on its members and all Serbian workers to join a strike in protest against the "election fraud".

About 2,000 Belgrade car factory workers are already on strike.

The independent Belgrade daily Nasa Borba says Zajedno held further protests in several towns around Serbia yesterday. In Nis, 5,000 workers joined yesterday's student demonstrations.

Police in Vranje, saying they are acting on orders from Belgrade, have warned local Zajedno opposition activists that any further demonstrations will be met with what they term "energetic measures" including the detention of all participants for 30 days.