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Yugoslav Revolution: Negotiations Under Way to Disband Parliament, Hold New Elections; EU Lifts Sanctions

Aired October 9, 2000 - 1:08 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We move on to Yugoslavia. It's been a day of political house cleaning as the last vestiges of the old government are being cleared away. All the while, the country's new president got another boost today when the European Union lifted sanctions imposed after the Kosovo conflict. The U.S. is expected to follow suit.

Our Belgrade bureau chief Alessio Vinci joins us now with the latest -- Alessio.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF: Lou, what the president, Vojislav Kostunica, is trying to do right now in order to run Yugoslavia is to take control of key institutions here in Serbia, which is the largest of the two republics, and most influential, that form Yugoslavia. Those institutions, of course, the Serbian government and the Serbian parliament.

And there's been some intense negotiations going on all day, key Kostunica allies pressuring both the Serb assembly and the Serbian president, Milan Milutinovic, to call for these early elections that would disband the current assembly and force the current government to resign. Those two institutions, of course, under the control of Milosevic's allies.

Meanwhile, the opposition -- the former opposition and the key allies of Kostunica are saying that they're ready to introduce and to swear in a new government, a transitional government, that would take over for the next few months. Until those elections are called, we understand from Mr. Djindjic, one of the opposition campaign managers and a key ally of Mr. Kostunica, that those elections will indeed take place at some point in December. And in between now and December, that provisional government will be able to run this country, at least here in Serbia, for the time being.

Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators, mainly students, have continued to walk through the streets of Belgrade. They first went in front of the Serbian parliament, where they asked lawmakers there to abolish a tough anti-university law. It was a law that was introduced several years ago that puts universities under the direct control of the government. And because of that, many teachers and many university deans were forced to resign. Those deans have be reinstated now and the parliament is due to accept, probably, this law. Back to you, Lou.

WATERS: OK, Alessio Vinci in Belgrade today.

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