Croatia president to influence elections in Serbia
Croatian President Stjepan Mesic says that his evidence concerning Milosevic’s case at the so-called "International Tribunal" in the Hague will influence presidential elections in Serbia, Belgrade’s Borba informs.
The elections are scheduled for September 29; incumbent Yugoslav President Voislav Kostunica and Vice-Premier Miroljub Labus are the main candidates to the post. The Croatian president is sure that “Serbian voters should know who is to be blamed for the situation in Serbia and why; this issue is very important on the eve of the coming presidential election.” Mesic wants to remind people of the military operations in Croatia and try to substantiate statements about the Yugoslav People’s Army being an immediate subordinate to the Serbian president.
Besides, Mesic will blame Milosevic for trying to create “a greater Serbia." However, this calumny has already been refuted by the accused. At the trial, Milosevic earnestly proved that he always strove for peace and did his best to prevent hostilities in Croatia and Bosnia.
Now, the Croatian president is going to explain that Milosevic was defeated due to resistance of Bosnia and Croatia. And this is despite the fact that it’s currently perfectly clear that little was done at that time to avoid bloodshed and to keep the rebellious republics within the united state. And Milosevic can’t be blamed for this, as he was the president of Serbia at that time, not Yugoslavia.
Even if Mesic succeeds with his accusations against Milosevic, this will hardly influence the choice of the Serbian people between Kostunica and Labus, as they were both opponents of the former government. Mesic is likely to be disgraced, the same way all previous opponents of Milosevic at the trial have been. It is not ruled out that Serbs, who follow Milosevic’s every word from the Hague, will sympathize with him once again and, in remonstrance, turn down both candidates.
Meanwhile, the official Yugoslavia appealed to NATO for including the country into the Partnership for Peace program. Yugoslav Foreign Minister, Goran Svilanovic and Yugoslav army’s Chief of Staff, Branko Krga left for Brussels to met NATO Secretary General, George Robertson. Leaving Belgrade, Svilanovic called upon the USA to support Yugoslavia’s incorporation into NATO. In his words, joining the Council of Europe, initiation of a EU joining process and participation in the NATO partnership program are Yugoslavia’s main objectives in the foreign policy. The minister says there are no reasons not to strive for NATO. Thousands of people killed during the NATO aggression are not counted at that.
Ilya Baskakov Exclusively for PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/19/47273.html