Prague, 14 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - An important organ of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly has proclaimed its solidarity with the demonstrators in Belgrade who for the past two months have been protesting the annulment of local election results by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
Meeting in Paris late yesterday, the Parliamentary Assembly's Political Committee deplored Milosevic's action. In a statement, the Committee expressed support for those who, in its words, "continue peacefully and courageously to demonstrate against such manipulation."
The statement called the "respect and the integrity of the electoral process...the cornerstone of democracy and political pluralism." It also criticized the lack of coverage of the Belgrade demonstrations by Serbia's state-controlled media, and condemned what it called the government's attempt to silence independent media, notably Radio (station) B92.
The Committees text will form part of a draft resolution to be debated and voted on by the full Parliamentary Assembly when it meets for its week-long Winter session in Strasbourg at the end of the month (Jan. 27-31, Serbian debate scheduled for Jan. 30).
Council officials told our correspondent that the Committee's draft will almost certainly be adopted by the full Assembly.