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Kostunica: Peaceful and democratic revolution

BELGRADE, Monday - It is up to Serbia to achieve a historic victory on its own and dismantle the system now ruled by an authoritarian leaders, Vojislav Kostunica said today.

Kostunica described the current events in Serbia as a peaceful, non-violent, wise, civilised and democratic revolution. "People are angry, but calm and the behaviour of the police has changed," said Kostunica, adding that no political party or group could organise the kind of protest which was now happening.

Emphasising that accepting a second round of presidential elections would mean accepting election fraud, Kostunica reiterated the opposition call for a recount of votes in the presence of impartial observers. There had been offers of such monitoring from Norway, France and Greece among others, he said, and these offers were well-intentioned and aimed at preserving peace and stability in Europe.

On the other hand, noted Kostunica, Russia and America, by their "major power" behaviour, were indirectly working against a resolution of the situation. Washington, he said, was doing this by never missing a chance to mention the Hague indictment of Slobodan Milosevic, as though this were more important than the fate of a nation, and Russia by vacillating.

The man the opposition is calling the president-elect will today began a tour of the country to express thanks to his supporters and to see how best to channel what he described as the justifiable rage of the people.

In a savage attack on the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Bureau of Statistic, Kostunica said that these two bodies had behaved like a dishonest waiter making errors of simple arithmetic. He described the discovery of ballot papers in a truck in Cacak as the crudest possible kind of theft and banditry.

Asked to comment on a statement from the Russian Ambassador to Moscow, Borislav Milosevic, that his brother Slobodan could become Yugoslav prime minister if he lost the presidency, Kostunica emphasised that the future prime minister must be a Montenegrin and from the ranks of the Socialist People's Party. The party's deputy leader, Predrag Bulatovic, would be an appropriate figure for that position, he said.

Source: B92

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