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Serbia: Parliament Debates Opposition Victory Bill

Belgrade, 11 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Serbian Parliament is meeting today to debate a special bill which would reinstate opposition wins in municipal elections in November. President Slobodan Milosevic last week ordered the Parliament to consider the bill which would recognize wins in 14 towns and cities, including the capital of Belgrade.

Milosevic proposed the law after daily mass opposition protests and international criticism against the government's decision to overturn the election results.

Milosevic's Socialists, formerly Communists, hold 123 seats in the 250-member Serbian parliament. With junior allies, they have enough votes to pass the bill. The opposition is boycotting the session, saying a special law was not necessary to recognize its victory.

The bill is just one of the items on the agenda and it is not certain how long it will take for the law to be adopted.

Leaders from the opposition coalition Zajedno (Together) say the opposition will continue with its street protests until it controls the disputed assemblies. Observers say this could take up to two weeks because the bill has to make its way through various layers of Serbia's complex legal and administrative system.

The opposition says it is planning protests for the 84th straight day today.