January 14, 1997 in Nation/World

Dissident Serbs Keep Pressure On Milosevic

Compiled From Wire Services

Tens of thousands of Serbs noisily celebrated Orthodox New Year’s Eve in downtown Belgrade Monday night, marking not only a favorite holiday but yet another opportunity to press Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to reinstate opposition victories in disputed municipal elections.

The huge turnout offered fresh evidence that the opposition demonstrations, which Milosevic’s government had hoped would gradually wither away, remain robust almost two months after they began. The sustained pressure on Milosevic to back down from his annulment of opposition victories in more than a dozen local elections held Nov. 17 - and his refusal to do so - have produced the kind of political cliffhanger not seen here since 1980, when Tito, Yugoslavia’s postwar dictator, lingered on the brink of death for four months.

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