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Serbia: OSCE Election Monitors Begin Work Next Week

Vienna, 28 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The OSCE says it will begin next week monitoring of the September 21 presidential and and parliamentary elections in Serbia, when its preliminary team arrives in Belgrade.

The head of OSCE's election and human rights unit, Gerard Stoudmann, said today the preliminary team will consist of about 40 people nominated by member-governments. They will be deployed across Serbia to observe whether election preparations are free and fair.

Another team of about 150 observers will be sent to Belgrade shortly before election day to cover the poll itself.

An OSCE election expert, Anthony Welch of Britain, is already in Belgrade making arrangements for the election monitors.

OSCE's parliamentary assembly said today it will also send a team of parliamentarians to monitor the elections. Its secretary-general, Spencer Oliver, said between 10-15 parliamentarians would take part. He said they will co-ordinate their monitoring program with the OSCE election unit.