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Chronology of Yugoslav elections and protests

December 31, 1996

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Highlights of Yugoslavia’s elections and the ensuing pro-democracy protests:

Nov. 3 _ Elections are held for federal parliament and local assemblies in 189 municipalities in Serbia. President Slobodan Milosevic’s ruling Socialists, allied with neo-Communists, win on the federal level. A runoff is needed for local elections.

Nov. 17 _ Runoff elections are held for local offices, and the three-party opposition coalition Zajedno appears to win in most large communities, including Belgrade.

Nov. 19 _ Milosevic-controlled electoral commissions annul local elections in several Serbian districts, mostly in cities areas where the opposition claimed victory.

Nov. 20 _ First day of opposition rallies.

Nov. 24 _ Courts, acting on complaints from Milosevic’s party, annulled the results of the runoff elections in Belgrade. They order a third round of voting in cities where opposition was strong.

Nov. 27 _ Third-round voting is held. Milosevic’s candidates win easily due to near-total boycott by the opposition.

Nov. 30 _ Number of demonstrators at rally reaches 150,000.

Dec. 8 _ Supreme Court rejects an appeal to reinstate the opposition’s victory in Belgrade.

Dec. 13 _ In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Milosevic denies the charge he stole the election and invites a foreign review.

Dec. 15 _ A court in the southern Serb town of Nis rules that the opposition won there.

Dec. 17 _ Milosevic meets with student protesters who marched from Nis, promises them an investigation of the election controversy.

Dec. 19 _ Number of demonstrators reaches new high of 250,000.

Dec. 20 _ Fact-finding mission from Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe arrives in Belgrade.

Dec. 24 _ Violence explodes as opposition supporters clash with Milosevic backers in Belgrade. Police beat opposition protesters. At least 58 people are injured.

Dec. 25 _ Police ban anti-government rallies.

Dec. 26 _ Riot police seal off a central square and beat demonstrators with clubs. Death confirmed of Predrag Starcevic, a man police beat two days earlier.

Dec. 27 _ International fact-finders urge Milosevic to concede defeat. The OSCE reports the opposition won in 13 communities _ almost all cities, including Belgrade.

Dec. 28 _ Starcevic, the first person killed in demonstrations, is buried and thousands attend funeral. The prime minister of Montenegro, Serbia’s tiny partner what remains of the Yugoslav federation, sends a message of support to Belgrade students.

Dec. 29 _ A group of Yugoslav army officers expresses support for protesters in a letter.

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