Rally launches new campaign to oust Milosevic
Wednesday 22 September 1999
The Alliance for Change, a loose coalition of some 35 Serbian opposition parties, held its first rally in Belgrade last night, after dozens of similar protests in provincial cities since the end of the Nato bombing campaign in June. Leaders of the alliance call their campaign the "broad democratic rebellion against the regime". They say the demonstration will be the first of a series of daily protests.
But one key figure was missing yesterday - Vuk Draskovic. His Serbian Renewal Movement is the largest opposition party. But Mr Draskovic has refused to join the alliance because of old rivalries, and the opposition's clear disunity has prevented it from reaching its goal of unseating Mr Milosevic.
"The regime has to be weakened by prolonged protests and demonstrations... After that, fair and democratic elections should follow," Zoran Djindjic, the leader of the Democratic Party within the alliance, has been repeating for weeks.
At its first convention last week, the Alliance for Change chose Dragoslav Avramovic, an octogenarian, as its candidate for prime minister in any future transitional government. Mr Avramovic, known as "super Grandpa", gained his nickname in 1994, when he was installed by Mr Milosevic to head the National Bank of Yugoslavia and he introduced financial reforms that brought down unprecedented inflation rates.
Mr Milosevic has managed to stay in office by skilfully manipulating the opposition and co-opting some of its leaders. On the surface, the Serbian President and his aides are not paying much attention to the Alliance for Change's rally. Last week, Mirko Marjanovic, the Serbian Prime Minister, called the opposition "Lilliputian".
"Besides the usual three pillars of power [army, finances and media control], Milosevic has the fourth - bad opposition," Dusan Pavlovic, a researcher for the Belgrade Institute for European Studies said.
Nevertheless, Mr Milosevic's government has denounced the opposition leaders as traitors, coerced by the Nato "aggressors" who bombed Yugoslavia. And, apparently intending to take some of the steam out of the protest, the government yesterday began issuing long-overdue cheques to pensioners and back pay for army reservists.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£15000 - £16800 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A key client in the East Midlands are re...
£21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...