July 6, 1997 in Nation/World

Karadzic Forces Trying To Oust President

Associated Press

Defying tough U.S. criticism, Bosnian Serb lawmakers who are allied with suspected war criminal Radovan Karadzic amended laws Saturday to make it easier to oust the president who replaced him.

The top U.S. envoy for former Yugoslavia, Robert Gelbard, voiced strong support for President Biljana Plavsic in her power struggle with Karadzic loyalists.

Gelbard warned the Karadzic camp of grave repercussions if they continue to defy the president.

“Threats against the international community obviously will not be tolerated,” he said.

It was unclear how much weight the Bosnian Serb Parliament’s actions would carry, Because Plavsic had ordered it dissolved Thursday. But Karadzic supporters argued her move was illegal and convened the assembly Friday.

Plavsic was elected president of the Serb portion of Bosnia after Karadzic was forced to step down last year under the U.S.-brokered peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s 3-1/2-year war.

Karadzic rejects the Dayton peace accords, and wants independence and union with Serbia.

Plavsic, also is a Serb nationalist, but more willing to work with Muslims and Croats.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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