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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Election call in Serbia crisis
By Matthew Price
Belgrade

Serbia's two largest opposition parties have called for early elections amid a deepening political crisis.

They released a joint statement demanding the elections, which are not due for another year.

As the political crisis bites, there are daily attacks on politicians on all sides.

He survived an assassination attempt last month
Djindjic's assassination has sent politics spiralling deeper into crisis
Major scandals tear every day at the heart of government.

Politics was never particularly pleasant under the former Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

But since his assassination in March the atmosphere has worsened.

Now, the joint statement says the situation is so "grave that only early parliamentary elections" can help.

Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic has dismissed the call. But it is sure to add to pressure on his administration.

The latest polls suggest that most people feel there should be early elections. But with public trust in politicians at its lowest ever, few know who they would vote for.

Unity plea

As if to underline the political problems facing Belgrade the prime minister has sent a letter to all the parties in his ruling coalition urging them to continue their work together.

Mr Zivkovic knows that if some of the parties leave the coalition he may well be forced into early elections.

The two opposition parties now callomg for elections were once part of the ruling coalition which overthrew the former President Slobodan Milosevic in 2001.

They represent different ends of the political spectrum.

But they are so angry about the current state of Serbian politics, they seem prepared to bury former differences, and work together, at least for now.


SEE ALSO:
Serbia remembers Djindjic
07 Sep 03  |  Europe
Who killed Djindjic?
13 Mar 03  |  Europe
Croatian leader visits Belgrade
10 Sep 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Serbia and Montenegro
23 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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