Enter content here
Macedonian policeman carries a picture of his comrade Boban Trpkov, 33, during his funeral procession in Dracevo, a Skopje suburb on November 13, 2001. Trpkov and two other Macedonian policemen were killed on Sunday near the village of Trebos after an ambush by ethnic Albanian gunmen. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
Macedonian policemen carry a casket of policeman Boban Trpkov, 33, during a funeral procession in Dracevo, a Skopje suburb November 13, 2001. Trpkov and two other Macedonian policemen were killed on Sunday near the village of Trebos in an ambush by ethnic Albanian gunmen. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
A funeral procession takes place for the killed Macedonian special police officer Boban Trpkov, moves through a street of town of Dracevo, near Skopje, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001. Boban Trpkov is one of the three policemen killed Sunday in an ambush set by ethnic Albanian militants. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Macedonian special policemen look at a NATO armored personnel carrier driving on the road towards the village of Trebos, north-west from capital Skopje, November 13, 2001. Three Macedonian policemen were killed on Sunday near the village of Trebos after an ambush by ethnic Albanian gunmen. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
French soldiers from the NATO mission Amber Fox, watch as Macedonian police armored personal carrier, leaves the area of village of Trebos, 5 kms (3,5 miles) east of Macedonia's northwestern town of Tetovo, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001.Macedonian special police Tuesday backed by armored personal carriers, encircled villages of Trebos, Semsovo and Palatica, near Tetovo, where three policemen were killed Sunday in an ambush set by ethnic Albanian militants. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Macedonian police armored vehicles, move towards Tetovo, 37 kms (23 miles) west of Macedonia's capital Skopje, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001. Macedonian special police Tuesday backed by armored personal carriers, encircled the villages of Trebos, Semsovo and Palatica, near Tetovo, where three police officers were killed Sunday in an ambush by ethnic Albanian militants. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Arrest on Sunday.
Sitel TV filmed the arrest of the Albanian terrorist group on Sunday. It all happened in the presence of NATO forces of the Task Force Fox.
Read more about the event through the articles linked on the left.
Letter Of Protest By Interior Minister Boshkovski To The Macedonian President.
Skopje, 13 November (MIA) - "Deeply shocked and surprised by the lies and nebulousness that your cabinet is presenting in public, I'm sending you this letter of protest, in order to aquatint the public with the truth about the decision of entering of the Macedonian scrutiny forces in the village of Neprosteno, where the procedure for exhumation the bodies of the six kidnapped persons should begin," stated the letter of the Interior Minister Boskovski, send to the Presidential cabinet today.
"During the last week, regarding the exhumation of the kidnapped persons bodies, continuous joint meetings were held in your cabinet during Sunday and Saturday, under your request" It says in the letter.
Minister Boskovski says that at the overall meeting attended by the special envoy of the European Union, Allen lee Rue, the ambassador EU Lars Norberg, the commander of NATO's "Ember Fox" mission, General George Hines Cerl, NATO's ambassador to Macedonia Claus Wolers, ambassador of the OSCE mission to Macedonia Craig Janis Jovanovski. Representatives of the Haag tribunal in Macedonia Howard Tacer the adviser of the national security of President Trajkovski, Stevo Pendarovski, the Public Prosecutor Stavre Gikov, the director of the public security Biro of, Goran Mitevski and vice-secretary deputy of the police, Zoran Jovanovski.
"At the meeting, all the above stated high officials were present, you mister President, gave clear order to the police forces to start with the operation of securing the terrain around the location presumably the place of the mass grave. You have also given clear notification to the all present Officials that you are the President of this state and the carrier of that function, and you claim responsibility before the people of Macedonia and to your self, for the sake of truth itself," minister Boskovski stated. 'You have reminded the representatives of the International community that they are in the country which lows are still in force law institutions of the authority and that no one should interfere in there competence protected by the law. You, as well, did not forget to remind the present guests that they are temporally staying in our country and that they will be back to their countries, and that you are the one to stay with your people and their truth. You have called the Interior Minister to account, for disobeying your order regarding the project-plan for police patrolling in the villages of Matejce, Neprosteno, Tearce, Lesok and Vaxince and presence of these forces in these villages. Considering this mater, you have clearly pointed out to the high representatives of the International Institutions, to the State Public Prosecutor and to the Minister of the Interior affairs, that your final order is the entering or the security forces and their, not six, not twelve but 24 hours presence on the terrain, conduction of the the legitimate police tasks," emphases Boskovski in his letter to the Macedonian President.
"Your response to the special ambassador of the EU, Norberg that you refuse to accept to sit and wait the formation of some commission for kidnapped persons, as judging by your own experience such commissions are formed when you do not want something to succeed. That was the moment, Mister President, when you repeated the order once again, to the Interior Minister to begin the police operation the following day, with no more delay, remanding the high representatives which did not agree with your estimation that this operation must not be postponed just to prolong their mandate in Macedonia, and that you as a President of this state can only decide who is welcomed and who is not "says Boskovski.
" Were you not the one, Mr.President, that was very angry the following day because the operation had not started yet, and that your order was not carried out. Wasnt you that clearly pointed out you will not consulate with no coordinate body, especially the Crises management center, as your word counts as final in this state .Did the Minister for Interior Affaires undertake the operation on his own authority, or did he obey the order of the President? I do not understand your hypocrisy, mister President .I am begging you in the name of the Macedonian People, and in the name of this country to go out in public for the sake of the fallen defenders of this state, to bring the truth openly and to give it a chance!" says in the protest letter of the Interior minister, directed to the Macedonian President, Boris Trajkovski.
War on terrorism skipped the KLA.
U.S. President George W. Bush has made it clear the war against terrorists will be unremitting and relentless. Even those countries affording shelter to terrorists will not be spared. These words come too late for the Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, Turks and other non-Albanians who have been driven from their ancestral homes in Kosovo by the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army. It is too late as well for Macedonia, which has been forced by the United States, the European Union and NATO to yield to all the demands of the Albanian terrorists in that country.
This double standard and lack of consistency when dealing with terrorists calls into question the policies the United States and its NATO allies followed in the Balkans. It also underlines the necessity for the United States and its allies to clean up their act if they wish to retain credibility in the war against terrorism.
The bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 allegedly to stop ethnic cleansing and prevent the Balkans from becoming once again the powder keg of Europe has backfired. Kosovo has become exclusively an Albanian province with the exception of a few stalwart Serbians in the Mitrovica area who live surrounded by barbed wire and are threatened daily with murder and mayhem by their Albanian neighbours. The Balkans, since the end of the bombing, have been in constant turmoil caused by the KLA terrorist activities.
NATO allowed the KLA, which under the terms of United Nations Resolution 1244 was to be disarmed after the end of the bombing, to keep its weapons. The KLA was renamed the Kosovo Protection Force and been given the task of maintaining peace and security in Kosovo. How well it has been able to carry out this task is summed up in a report dated Feb. 26, 2001, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, which accuses the protection corps of widespread acts of murder, torture and extortion.
That condemnation should not have come as a surprise. As early as 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and funds supplied from Islamic countries and individuals, including Osama bin Laden. This did not stop the United States from arming and training KLA members in Albania and in the summer of 1998 sending them back into Kosovo to assassinate Serbian mayors, ambush Serbian policemen and intimidate hesitant Kosovo Albanians. The aim was to destabilize Kosovo and overthrow Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
Bin Laden and radical Muslim groups have been deeply involved in the Balkans since the civil wars in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. Despite a UN arms embargo and with the knowledge and support of the United States, arms, ammunition and thousands of Mujahideen fighters were smuggled into Bosnia to help the Muslims. Many remain in Bosnia today and are recognized as a serious threat to Western forces there. The Bosnian government is said to have presented bin Laden with a Bosnian passport in recognition of his contribution to their cause. He and his al-Qaeda network were also active in Kosovo, and KLA members trained in his camps in Afghanistan and Albania.
Emboldened by the knowledge it could achieve its political objectives by terror, the KLA moved into southern Serbia and initiated, under the eyes of 40,000 NATO troops, a campaign of terror against the Serbian population. Not until NATO permitted the new democratic government of Serbia to send the Serb army back into the area was the KLA routed and sent back across the border into Kosovo.
Macedonia, with its large Albanian minority, was the KLA's next target. In February, its forces moved against this small and newly independent democracy. The familiar pattern of murder, ambush and intimidation followed. Unlike Serbia, which still possessed a powerful and well-equipped army, Macedonia had little with which to defend itself against the well equipped and battle-hardened KLA fighters. The promises of assistance made by former U.S. president Bill Clinton in return for Macedonia's co-operation during the Yugoslav bombing were forgotten.
Nevertheless, when the fighting started, it appeared NATO and the European Union might help Macedonia resist the terrorist threat. In March, Lord Robertson, the Secretary-General of NATO, condemned the KLA terror campaign and described them as "murderous thugs." He supported the Macedonian government's refusal to negotiate with the terrorists. Obviously, Lord Robertson was not aware the United States had other ideas about which side to support in Macedonia.
The message was made clear in May, when U.S. diplomat Robert Fenwick, ostensibly the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in Macedonia, met secretly in Prizren, Kosovo, with the leaders of the Albanian political parties and KLA representatives. Macedonian officials were not invited. It was clear the United States was backing the Albanian terrorist cause. This was confirmed a month later, when a force of 400 KLA fighters was surrounded in the town of Aracinovo near the capital, Skopje. As Macedonian security forces moved in, they were halted on NATO orders. U.S. army buses from Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo arrived to remove all the heavily armed terrorists to a safer area of Macedonia. German reporters later revealed that 17 U.S. military advisors were accompanying the KLA terrorists in Aracinovo.
In August, fearing the Macedonian forces might be able to defeat the KLA, U.S. Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice flew to Kiev and ordered the Ukrainian government to stop sending further military equipment to Macedonia. Since Ukraine was the only country supplying Macedonia with military assistance, the Macedonians realized continued resistance against the KLA terrorists, the EU and NATO was futile. Macedonia was forced to concede defeat and obliged to accept all the terrorist demands. When the peace treaty was signed, Lord Robertson proclaimed, "This day marks the entry of Macedonia into modern, mainstream Europe ... a very proud day for their country."
James Bissett is a former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, 1990-1992.
CONSULTATION FOR PROTECTING THE PLANTS IN AGRICULTURE STARTS IN OHRID.
The 26th "Consultation for protecting the plants in the agriculture" started Tuesday in Ohrid. The consultation was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, the Association for Plant Protection, with financial assistance of the German Government for supporting the modernisation of the Macedonian agriculture.
President of the Plant Protection Association Mirko Mihajlovski stressed that this consultation aims to introduce the participants with the latest scientific achievements in the field of protection of plants and their application for preventing the diseases and eliminating the insect pests "that might increase the costs but would significantly reduce the toxicological effects."
It was concluded that the spending and the use of means for protecting the plants in the agriculture has been rapidly reduced in the past ten years in Macedonia, due to the rationalisation, the reduced number of treatments as well as the introduction of new methods for eliminating insect pests.
According to the latest information the use of pesticides has been reduced four times, of the herbicides twice, while the use of the insecticides has been reduced 11 times.
Vice Minister of Agriculture Jovan Damcevski stressed that with the regular and rational use of the pesticides the returns could be increased and organic food could be produced according to the standards of the European Union and the World Trade Organisation.
On contrary, the effects would be negative not only for the production, but also for the people and the environment.
Speaking of the fact that the use of pesticides has been reduced Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Vladimir Dzabirski stressed that this was result of the education of the producers, the implementation of new findings about the prevention of diseases, insect pets and plevels as well as the training of the producers for modern and proper use of the pesticides.
Dzabirski stressed that the experts should take care for further implementation of preventive measures without the use of pesticides, what encompasses production of resistant sorts, experimentation with trans genes cultures as well as the implementation of biological regulatory mechanisms.
"Macedonias tendency is to join the organic, ecological agricultural production what is one of the options for sustainable development of the agriculture, realisation of the global strategy for protection of the environment and reducing the enormous use of protective means and fertilisers," he stressed.
According to him, the Ministry of environment tends to join the contemporary trends for protection of human health and environment through developing and application of legal obligatory elements for managing the organic polluters.
Dzabirski informed that Macedonia signed the Convention for organic polluters and is obliged to eliminate or to restrict the use of chemicals in the agriculture, which are dangerous for the man and the environment.
Representatives from Albania, Bulgaria, FR Yugoslavia, Romania and Croatia participate at the consultation in Ohrid.
INTERIOR MINISTRY INVESTIGATES SPOT WHERE THREE POLICEMEN WERE KILLED.
The Macedonian Interior Ministry after the investigation conducted on the spot where three policemen were murdered Sunday night announced that it was an ambush attack including classical terrorist methods.
As the Ministry of Interior reported, Drago Manevski born in 1966 in Skopje and father of two, Boban Trpkov born 1968 in Skopje and father of two children, and Oliver Petrusevski botn in 1978 in Kumanovo lost their lives in the incident near Semsevo.
The Macedonian police will search the surrounding villages and urges the residents to be restrained in the interest of the investigation.
Contrary to the assurance of the representatives of the international community and NATO mission "Amber Fox" that the terrorists have been disarmed, "NLA" has been disbanded and that these were isolated groups operating within the so-called ANA, the Interior Ministry believes that it is in everyone's interest, including the citizens of Albanian belonging these groups to be eliminated and neutralized what would contribute to preservation of the peace in the country and realization of President Boris Trajkovski agenda.
The Macedonian Ministry of Interior reported on Monday that the Macedonian police forces entered in the Tetovo region of crisis on Sunday after the agreement reached with the international community and based on an order from President Boris Trajkovski. President Trajkovski gave this order based on request from public prosecutor Stavre Dzikov.
The police headed to the location where alleged mass grave was located in order to secure the area and to enable exhumation to be carried out today.
While the police troops were securing the road they were caught in an ambush by the Albanian terrorists, who opened fire from RPG missile launcher and "Zoljas" against a police transporter and a vehicle. In the shootout three policemen were killed and three more were wounded.
The Macedonian Interior Ministry with indignation rejects the accusations that the international community and the Macedonian public were not informed on their operations, as the everyday meetings with the relevant international and domestic factors have been always transparent, reads Monday announcement of the Interior Ministry.
At those meetings consensus has been reached for securing the location of the suspected gravesite where the kidnapped Macedonian civilians are buried. The issue of the competencies of the representatives of "Amber Fox" mission was discussed and the Interior Ministry refused their participation as "they are not in charge with the exhumation process."
"On Sunday upon the order of President Boris Trajkovski, the realization of the plan that was previously published in Macedonian and in English language and submitted to President's Cabinet started," reads the press release.
The announcement reads that "the ministry, faced with the seriousness of the moment, defending the dignity of the Constitution and the determined legal authorisations, including the defence of the Macedonian sovereignty and integrity, after the loss of three policemen, are target of certain Macedonian politicians and international diplomats, who do not want to claim the responsibility and transfer it to the Interior Ministry."
"We believe that the constructions are tendentious and do not contribute toward relaxation of the inter ethnic relations and resolving the crisis. We especially emphasise the statement of Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski, where he states serious accusations of adventurism confirming once again that the defence of the country, the killed defenders and the destiny of eventually kidnapped civilians are less important than their quasi political careers," the Interior Ministry states.
In the interest of the defence of Republic of Macedonia, the Interior Ministry once again appeals to unity and continuation of close cooperation with the Defense Ministry "as the destiny of the state comes prior to one's own destiny."
Ministry of Interior affairs gave announcement today which explains the arrest of the seven-armed persons on Sunday.
During Sunday's routine control, in the presence of the NATO's "Amber Fox " mission soldiers, Interior Ministry has arrested seven persons, fully armed and with loaded automatic weapons, ready to attack our security forces.
The arrested persons, as stated in the announcement, drove three motor vehicles.
In one of the vehicles, "Opel Askona" with registration plates number TE 090 - BI, confirmed to belong to another transport vehicle by the label of "Opel Vektra", property of ''Ata Komerc", an automatic shot gun by the label of 'CZ' was discovered on the front seat. Two fully charged chargers of munition caliber 7,62 mm, two empty chargers, one "CZ" gun, caliber 7, 62 mm, bullet frame with eight bullets were also found there. On the back seat there were also a belt and a case with a gun by the label of "Broving" with a nine-mm caliber and two frames containing 14 bullets.
Inside the second motor vehicle "Opel Senator" with registration plates TE-741-ax, taken out from another motor vehicle by the label of "Ford Taunus", an automatic gunshot, product of China, caliber 38 mm and an officer's briefcase containing documents, were also discovered.
It has been confirmed that the registration plates TE-728-BI, placed at the backside of the third vehicle "Ford Sierra", are of PMB 'Mercedes', property of the 'Golec Trans' from Zelino village. The plates were reported as canceled on September 27 this year.
During the ID check out, MVR has stated that Izair Samii, the so-called commander Surli, suspected of the attack on the police station in Tearce, for kidnapping and abusing of Macedonian civilians was arrested. Nuhi Mustafi, so-called commander Solana from the village of Prsovce, responsible for ethnic cleaning, Jetmir Vejtuli, responsible for the explosion in the hotel 'Brioni' in Celopek, where two Macedonian civilians were killed, Muzafer Zekiri, the so-called commander Vedi of the village of Semsevo, the juvenile delicvent F.F from Zelino, resident of Skopje, Skodran Idrizi also from Zelino, member of the ONA military police and Arben Jakupi from the village of Neprosteno, are susspected of kidnapping the Macedonian civilians.
The arrested persons will be held in prison for 30 days. They are well known to the Macedonian security forces. Criminal charges have been brought against them for the crimes against humanity and the International law, which is under the jurisdiction of the Hague Tribunal.
Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski informed the members of the Government at Tuesday's session that the exhumation process was a mission of technical character and aimed to secure the location near Neprosteno where the experts in forensic medicine should operate.
Gjorgji Trendafilov, the spokesman of the Government, reporting some parts of Boskovski's statement stressed that the task of the police did not include entrance in the villages or undertaking any operational activities that could have been qualified as military operations in that region.
"The preparations for the mission lasted around 10 days, and the representatives of several international organisations and from President's Cabinet were included, as according to the estimations of the political moment the exhumation process should have been conducted transparently," Trendafilov said, adding that unfortunately three policemen were killed and three others were injured during the mission.
According to him, the killers of the three policemen will take the responsibility for the murder.
During Sunday and Monday, "many institutions, official persons from the country and abroad felt the need to address publicly through their cabinets and to amnesty themselves from the participation in the preparations for the mission," Trendafilov said.
"Their story is that they were not informed with the preparations of the mission or they did not think that such mission should be conducted, what I believe is fabrication," Trendafilov stressed.
"The fact that we did not hear any clear, brief and decisive condemnation of the murderers that killed the policemen proves that," Trendafilov said.
The Macedonian Government strongly condemned the terrible act of murdering three Macedonian policemen and the kidnapping and maltreatment of the civilians.
"This act makes us wonder whether those problems we have considered as closed such as the disarmament of the Albanian terrorists and the cease-fire, show on the worst possible way that the process has not been completed yet," spokesman of the Macedonian Government Gjorgji Trendafilov stated for MIA.
According to Trendafilov "the seriousness of the situation urges to be moderate in the statements, especially of those that are party's motivated and are addressed to the security forces, as they should continue their legal duties and prevent the further escalation of the violence."
Tuesday's session of the Macedonian Government, chaired by Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski, started with one-minute silence as a sign of respect to the killed police officers.
Minister of Interior Ljube Boskovski informed the Government about this event, when 3 members of the Ministry of Interior were killed in the cruelest and most monstrous way near villages Trebosh and Neproshteno, at the site of the alleged mass crypts that contained the bodies of kidnapped Macedonian citizens.
According to previously prepared plan, which involved suitable state and international institutions, 60 members of the special unit of the Ministry of Interior, should have secured the space and the road for free movement.
However, as Boskovski stated, members of this unit did not have a mission to attack and conquer territories, a fact which the Macedonian public had already known, but it was a technical mission for securing of the location, in order for relevant expert personnel to perform an exhumation in a transparent way.
After the presentation of the detailed information of the Minister, the recent misunderstandings among some Government members around the authorities and obligations in implementation of the latest action by some ministers and ministries were overcome.
At the session, the Government confirmed several legal projects from the financial sector, which are of great significance for the Republic of Macedonia.
The Government reviewed and accepted the draft-law for change of the customs tariff, with which our country will fulfill its international obligations for accordance of the nomenclature of the customs tariff to the World Customs Organisation and EU, starting from January 1, 2002. Furthermore, following and analyzing the influence of rates in the current customs tariff, the Government estimated that there is a need for intervention in certain customs regulations concerning their decrease, with the purpose of relieving economic subjects during import of raw materials and repro-materials that are not produced in our country.
It should be emphasised that the accordance of the nomenclature in the customs tariff at vehicles caused a decrease of the customs rate at high-liter vehicles, which are now equaled with the customs rates of less- liter vehicles. They now amount to 10% for new, and 15% for used cars.
The proposed changes of the law means quality interventions, in order to relieve economy, selection and rationality of the customs protection and strengthening of the protection and developing function of this segment.
The Government accepted the information and the decision for realisation of the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia for the year, as well as the possibilities for rationalisation of the budget spending by the end of the year. This decrease of the budget spending is of great importance, not only because of the engagements with the World Bank, but also because it is a condition for the donors' conference. The total cut of the budget spending, according to this decision, would amount to 800 million denars by the end of the year.
Albanian Terrorists Violated The Cease-Fire In Kumanovo - Lipkovo Region.
Kumanovo, November 13 (MIA) - Albanian terrorists during Monday and overnight 16 times have violated the cease-fire with shootings that came from the villages of Dumanovce, Slupcane, Matejce, Nikustak, Grusino, Ropaljce, Glaznja and Agino in Kumanovo - Lipkovo region.
Spokesperson of the General Staff of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, Colonel Blagoja Markovski stated that Monday afternoon Albanian terrorists were moving on direction Matejce monastery - the village of Matejce and Runica, Slupcane and Slupcanska reka by motor vehicles.
The registered shootings in this crisis region were directed at unknown targets and with no direct actions upon the position of the Macedonian security forces. Armed provocations are not a serious threat for the territory, the population and the positions of the security forces due to which Macedonian forces did not fire back.
Albanian Terrorists Violated The Cease-Fire In Tetovo Crisis Region.
Tetovo, November 13 (MIA) - Albanian terrorists have violated the cease-fire in the areas of the town and some villages during Monday night in Tetovo crisis region, MIA's correspondent reports.
Interior Ministry Sector in Tetovo says shootings from the terrorist nests on Cetinjska and Ivo Lola Ribar streets have been registered on Monday after midnight.
Albanian terrorists shot from automatic guns from Drenovec 2 settlement, and around 06:00 shootings from Tenovo as well as from Mala Recica and Trebos.
Terrorists also shot from building blocks 77 and 82, Mosa Piade high school, Goce Stojcevski textile school centre, Kiril and Metodij high school, transportation company Polet and Tetovo teke, as well as from Strimnica, Mala Recica and the village of Tenovo. Two detonations that came from the southwestern part of the town have been heard in this period. The detonations are a result of firing of projectiles near the cable car and are shot from the terrorist nests in Tetovo teke.
Macedonian security forces did not respond to the provocations since they were directed to unknown targets.
Classes In Tetovo Region Schools Cancelled.
Tetovo, November 13 (MIA) - Due to the worsened security situation in Tetovo region and the absence of the students all classes in the schools are cancelled again on Tuesday.
Asan Zuljbeari, chief of the branch office of the Ministry of Education and Science said that the ministry gives no order for stoppage of the classes.
Vote-Counting Frustrated, Chaos Reins in CEC.
'Elections' Association, selected as pollsters at the presidential elections, spoiled the returns counting. The company couldn't eliminate the technical problems in the software and after midnight began to bring the equipment out of the polling stations, thus causing inconceivable chaos when the election protocols were to be submitted to the CEC. Since it was impossible for the chairmen of the electoral commissions to send the data via modem, most of them had brought home the electoral lists. At 11 a.m. yesterday the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) announced that 'Elections' Association couldn't cope with the computer counting and decided to do it directly at the commission.
The First Bulgarian Combat Platoon Departed for Bosnia.
The first Bulgarian motorized platoon to the SFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina left for the troubled republic yesterday. The flight was bound to Split. After that the contingent will by transported by buses. To date Bulgaria has deployed only engineering units - masons, plasterers, carpenters and electricians. Now for the first time the Bulgarians will take part in real military operations. They will carry out assignments connected with patrolling, guarding, checkups, organization of border check-points, sources from the General Staff explained. The platoon consists of 38 people - 6 officers, 8 sergeants and 24 privates. The unit will be under Dutch command and will be stationed in the area of Bogoino. In six months the platoon will be replaced by other Bulgarian servicemen.
Bulgaria to Grant Overflight Right to US Fighters.
Bulgaria and the USA exchanged notes of agreement on base, transit and overfly of American military forces on the Bulgarian territory, said after a one-hour talks yesterday Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Janet Bogue. The cooperation under this agreement is within the framework of the US-led operation against international terrorism "Enduring Freedom" and will last until the very end of the operation, Passy elaborated. The papers are already submitted to the parliament for ratification and the procedure may be completed till end-week. Minister Passy has postponed his visit to New York because of the preparation of these documents. Mrs Bogue, in her turn, called the agreement a pivotal contribution to the development of the bilateral relations. Minister Passy said that the USA have not asked for overfly right as yet.
'Parvanov' - an Insult in Both UDF Camps.
The members of the BSP staff were more surprised by the results than the people close to Stoyanov.
'Well, that serves Stoyanov right - he played against Kostov, let now Purvanov rule him', people close to the Commander gloated at the election night in the National Palace of Culture(NPC). 'Eh, that serves Kostov right - he didn't work for Stoyanov, he didn't support him even by a single word, let Parvanov rule him now', the President's close associates said on their part. The lower functionaries from the two UDF camps pottered about the NPC, exchanged look daggers and talked between their teeth. Higher ones were simply missing. Kostov was present only in the remarks. Evgeniy Bakardzhiev was absent. Stephan Sofianski was in the NPC only to take part in one of the TV programs. And to take the blame. All the UDF members there, pointed at him - he was the one, who proclaimed the establishment of his party only a week before the vote. He perplexed the voters. Like in 1999, at the time of the local elections, Sofianski was furious - because of the low turnout and the bad pre-election campaign. He didn't hide that according to him the discrediting report against Bonev was in disadvantage of Stoyanov himself. The mayor, who isn't a UDF member for a week already, was the only one who convinced the UDF members: 'Stop quarreling, Peter must win'. At about 10 p.m. a rumour that prompted groups of voters voted for Parvanov on purpose, trying to prevent a Stoyanov-Bonev runoff, spread in the NPC. The UDF members said that this was a plan of the NMS. The NMS denied it and explained that the plan was implemented by the UDF. At 10.30 p.m. the election staff of the BSP was shocked. 'O-o-o, we lead - now what', people from the BSP staff panicked. 'We win, we win', people from Peter Stoyanov's staff said to them. Ten minutes later the bargain about the first press-conference - the one of the leader in the election results had to start. It turned out that nobody wanted it. People of Stoyanov and Purvanov decided that, if the sociologists were not unanimous, they would drew. But the sociologists were unanimous. And at 11 p.m. Parvanov entered the hall first. Outside, the UDF activists went on explaining that the results were in favour of Stoyanov, the same way Filip Dimitrov and Ivan Kostov did it, when they lost catastrophically the elections in 1994 and 2001. Stoyanov entered the press conference after Purvanov, puffed up as if nothing had happened. An hour later he left. He came out arm in arm with his wife Antonina, the same way Elena Kostova held the Commander on June 17.
NMS Support Was Useless.
INTERVIEW Standartnews: Ekaterina Mihailova
The drop in the credit rating of the power-vested influenced the election, maintains Ekaterina Mihailova, UDF leader.
- Mrs Mihailova, how will you comment on the election results from the first round?
- I think, it is a phenomenon. The very fact that just few people voted is a thing we had not witnessed to date. Many explanations can be provided. The first one is the political apathy, the second is the failure to understand the functions of the head of state, and the third one, to me, is the drop in the credit rating of the now ruling political force. It affected directly the presidential election through non-voting. So, many analyses could be made. And I believe that analyses are in store and all the sociologists and analyzers will take part in them.
- Did the NMS really partner the UDF?
- We never sealed any agreement with the NMS, we did not even have talks about how to campaign. The campaign was carried out in a totally different way. Each of us made our contribution despite of the fact of someone else's support. Our commitment was to carry out the invisible part of the campaign and we did it, though it was an unrewarding job and not just a pleasant one.