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Serbia: Opposition Defiant On Eve Of Key Vote

Belgrade, 10 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Serbia's opposition remains defiant on the eve of a parliamentary vote aimed at ending the country's political deadlock. A spokesman for Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement says even if parliament reinstates opposition electoral wins in municipal elections tomorrow, pro-democracy rallies will continue until the disputed local councils are safely in opposition hands.

Parliament is due to meet in special session tomorrow to consider a bill reinstating the opposition's gains in 14 of Serbia's town and cities in local elections last November. But news reports quote an opposition spokesman as saying the vote may not even take place tomorrow, as scheduled, because of a packed legislative agenda.

Tanjug news agency reports that a Serbian parliamentary commission today refused to attach an amendment proposed by the opposition to the main bill up for consideration tomorrow. The amendment reportedly sought to include two districts of Belgrade where the opposition said it was robbed of victory. According to Tanjug, the parliamentary legal commission did not give a reason for its ruling.

Meanwhile, the opposition Zajedno party plans an evening rally tonight, following a successful student rally ealier in the day which drew an estimated 20,000 protestors.