International inspectors arrive in Serbia to investigate fraud

December 21, 1996|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- International envoys assigned to inspect Serbian election fraud arrived in Belgrade yesterday amid indications that President Slobodan Milosevic is prepared to re-stage municipal voting for the capital.

Already hit by more than a month of street demonstrations against his government, Milosevic is also facing increasing turmoil within his ruling party that further isolates him and could weaken his hold on power.

The signals from the embattled regime were mixed yesterday: Milosevic's influential wife accused the generally peaceful demonstrators of taking Serbia to civil war, while the government staged old-style Communist rallies in a clumsy attempt to show that it still enjoys popular support.

But in a sign of potential conciliation, a 10-member delegation from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe arrived at Milosevic's invitation and met with the president and leaders of the opposition coalition known as Zajedno (Together).

Milosevic's decision to annul municipal election victories scored by Zajedno triggered the demonstrations.

Pub Date: 12/21/96

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