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Serbia: Protest Movement Against Milosevic Continues

Belgrade, 6 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - An estimated 30,000 people today began to march through the streets of Belgrade, continuing protests against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that have lasted for nearly three weeks.

The demonstrations, sparked by Milosevic's cancellation of the opposition victory in municipal elections last month, aim at restoring results of the elections and also forcing Milosevic to resign after nine years in power.

The pattern of the demonstrations is that they start small, but swell to numbers as large as 150,000 people later in the day.

In a development that could have considerable effect on the political crisis in Belgrade, the Supreme Court is expected to rule within a day or so on the Belgrade electoral commission's application to have results of the municipal elections in the capital reinstated. It heard the appeal today.

Meanwhile, the Serbian Information Minister, Aleksander Tijanic, resigned today in protests at his government's media policies during the weeks of protest.

He said he was protesting the fact that decisions about the official media had been taken without consulting him. Tijanic came under pressure from the opposition after government officials shut down three independent radio stations earlier this week in what was widely seen as an attempt to cut off information about the street protest. Two of the radio stations have since resumed broadcasting.