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Serbia: Opposition Comes Closer To Taking Power

Belgrade, 13 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Serbian opposition came a step closer to taking power in the Belgrade city assembly today when the local electoral commission confirmed its victory as required by an act of parliament earlier this week.

The move follows last week's capitulation by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to 12 weeks of protests over election fraud which deprived the opposition coalition, Zajedno (Together), of its victory in Belgrade and Serbia's 13 other biggest cities.

The Belgrade electoral commission president (Radomir Lazarevic) said the council must be called into session within five days. According to results confirmed today, Zajedno won 67 seats, on the 110-seat council and the ruling leftist coalition 24. The Serbian ultra-nationalist Radical Party won 17 seats and the Democratic Party of Serbia, two.

Meanwhile, thousands of Belgrade demonstrators returned to the streets of the capital today to press for changes in the state-run TV, which is strictly controlled by Milosevic.