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Yugoslavia: OSCE Appoints Special Commissioner

Vienna, 22 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has appointed former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez as its special commissioner for Yugoslavia in the hope that he can persuade Belgrade to introduce democratic reforms.

A statement issued by OSCE in Vienna Friday said Gonzalez would remain involved with Yugoslavia until the end of the year. OSCE said it hoped the Belgrade authorities "would take the opportunity to show its commitment to democratic reform."

Gonzales led an OSCE mission to Belgrade last December to try to persuade the authorities to respect opposion victories in municipal elections. At the time tens of thousands demonstrated nightly in Belgrade against the policies of Serbian (now federal Yugoslav) President Slobodan Milosevic.

Gonzalez 's report said many of the municipal elections had indeed been won by the opposition. He also published recommendations for establishing democratic reform in Yugoslavia, including make the media more free. Friday's OSCE statement said that none of these recommendations had been fully implemented in advance of Sunday's elections in Serbia.