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Serbia: Opposition Continues Protest

Belgrade, 18 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Serbia's opposition continued its street protests today despite a pledge by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to investigate claims of vote rigging in last month's municipal elections.

More than 20,000 students started to march towards Milosevic's home in an exclusive Belgrade neighborood. But they were stopped by several hundred riot police.

Meanwhile, 37 protesting students embarked on another long-distance march, striking out from the industrial town of Kragujevac, bound for Belgrade.

At a meeting with student representatives from the city of Nis yesterday, Milosevic acknolwedged that "Mistakes are always possible." He said the state will not protect anyone who has broken the law, "be they citizens or officials."

So far, Serbian courts have reinstated opposition victories in three muncipal districts around the country, but the opposition wants its victories confirmed in all 15 of Serbia's 18 largest towns.

Meanwhile, the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, says it will soon send a mission to Serbia to review the disputed poll results, at Milosevic's invitation.