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August 10, 1996
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 253

Pre-Election Flames

by Velizar Brajovic

The National Party and Liberal Alliance agreed all models for their joint election stand in November. They put everything in writing and judging from statements by leaders Novak Kilibarda and Slavko Perovic the alliance is too strong to be endangered.

One thing that isn’t certain yet is who will join them. Kilibarda told VREME that the coalition is open to anyone.

The Social Democrats still haven’t decided.

Hajrun Hadzic, head of the SDA for Montenegro told VREME his party’s main board will meet to decide soon and added the coalition seems to be in a hurry but some people in his party are opposed to joining forces with them.

Albanian Democratic Alliance leader Mehmed Bardli said he supports the coalition and added that there had been talks with other parties as well. He said a final decision will be taken after their interests are defined. Bedli said his party hasn’t decided whether to run in the federal elections and the only sure thing is the coalition they agreed with the SDA four years ago.

The bargaining is underway. The entire opposition is discussing reasons for and against the coalition and that seems to be the line divisions among them will take. Kilibarda told VREME that most local SRS boards said they would join his National Party soon after SRS member Drago Bakrac crossed over. If the SDP decides to stand alone there will be new rifts in the party which could endanger its survival.

Some 15 communist-orientation parties are on the other side all mutually opposed with slim chances in the elections. There have been no reports that they are thinking of a coalition. JUL has said it will stand in the Montenegrin elections.

The impression is that the calmest situation is in the ruling DPS. The authorities are too busy with a number of festivals on the coast and the state media occasionally report on the successful tourist season, reopening of some closed down plants, growth of industrial production, payments to pensioners and similar.

A ranking DPS official said federal parliament speaker Radoman Bozovic brought a message to Montenegrin president Momir Bulatovic which said the elections must not be lost. The DPS is doing all it can to win and hang on to absolute power.

The campaign is underway. The schedule of party presentations on the state media has been drawn up and it starts on September 3. The opposition is already complaining that it does not have enough money which is not a problem for the ruling party. Sources in the state media said special reports on the National Party and Liberal Alliance are being produced after courses were held for the reporters who will cover those parties.

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