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May 23, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 139
Scandal in the Assembly

Trouble With The Microphone

by Milan Milosevic

When Serbian Radical Party (SRS) deputy Drasko Markovic said something on account of the reputation of Radoman Bozovic, the Speaker of the Chamber of Citizens in the Federal Assembly, or more precisely, when he mentioned Bozovic's involvement in the socalled ministerial scandal (a large scale robbery involving the arrest of two ministers in the Serbian cabinet during Bozovic's term as PM, which is still being dragged about in the courts), Bozovic just switched off the microphone on the speaker's platform.

In the next scene, Bozovic motioned in Markovic's direction that he was to leave the session, Markovic picked up a glass of water and poured it over the table in front of Bozovic, but not in a sufficiently wide arc so as to drench him.

The Chamber then gave Bozovic permission to dismiss Markovic from the session. (So far deputies have been dismissed without a vote in the Chamber).

The punished deputy started towards the door, and then at a suggestion from SRS leader Vojislav Seselj sat down on the bench. Other SRS deputies surrounded their colleague and did not allow the Assembly security to throw Markovic out of the Chamber. An argument about the superiority of official passes followedthe Radicals called on parliamentary immunity, while security countered with an official order from the Speaker. One policeman shouted: ``Mr. deputy, allow me to carry out my duty!'' Seselj replied: ``You won't carry out your duty!'' In the jostling which followed, SRS deputy Filip Stojanovic's ear was torn. Seselj shouted loudly: ``You've made him bleed, damn you, Communist motherfuckers. Milosevic can fuck you, for all I care!'' He then advised his deputy to show his bloody handkerchief, and then raised the temperature saying that the man had lost ``half a liter of blood.'' Seselj called out to Radmilo Bogdanovic (Serbian police eminence grise) across the Chamber: ``See what your police are doing Radmilo!'' After giving Seselj a long and meaningful look, Bogdanovic left the Chamber.

Twice before this incident, Bozovic had interrupted sessions whenever Seselj mentioned his involvement in criminal affairs. Exactly a year ago, an incident took place in which Bozovic behaved in an entirely different way. When SRS deputy Branislav Vakic knocked out SPO deputy Mihajlo Markovic, he reacted very mildly, and in Vakic's favor.

For a long time the Socialists tolerated, approved and even encouraged Seselj to make scandals in the Serbian and Federal Assemblies. Lately they seem to be losing their nerve.

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