Subject Milosevic may win pre-selection for presidential election
28jul2002-52.htm Posted Sun, 28 Jul 2002 1117 AEST
Milosevic may win preselection for Yugoslav presidential election Yugoslavia's ex-president Slobodan Milosevic, currently on trial before a UN war crimes tribunal, could be selected by his Socialist Party as its candidate in a presidential election. The Beta news agency reports the party's executive will choose from three possible candidates on August 7, after consulting Milosevic himself.
The Yugoslav presidential election will be held on September 27. "The strongest candidate, with no rivals, will be Milosevic, who has shown with his persistent, brave statesman's behaviour, what is the axiom of a struggle for national dignity, state and people," the party said in a statement.
The other two Socialist Party (SPS) choices are Milosevic-era businessman Milutin Mrkonjic, and popular Serb actor Bata Zivojinovic, both long-time SPS members. However legal experts argue Milosevic's party cannot select him again because Serbia's constitution says a person cannot be elected president more than twice.
During his decade-long rule, Milosevic was twice elected to Serbia's top post. After his ouster in October 2000, he was handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Netherlands in June 2001. His trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for atrocities committed during the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, began on February 12.
In face of Milosevic's continuous attacks against NATO aggression during the televised trials and the public's increasing support as his assertions of a US led conspiracy to usurp Yugoslavia's socialism unfolded, the TV coverage was finally blacked out by the court. Milosevic's considerable successes in the courtroom has continued in spite of dire warnings by the presiding Judge, who now threatens to appoint Milosevic a defense lawyer.
The three-judge panel, revealing the results of medical tests conducted last month on Milosevic, 60, recommended that he appoint an assistant to help him in the complex case, and suggested that if he resisted, the panel would impose "measures" to protect his health and reduce his workload. Milosevic rejected the idea of an assistant. "I have never demanded any medical checkup, not even when I suffered a high fever," he said, firing back angrily at the judges. "You should not harbor any illusion that I am asking for anything."
"Milosevic is a man with serious cardiovascular risk which requires future monitoring," said the presiding judge, Richard May." His workload must be reduced and the medical treatment by a cardiologist is most advisable," May said. He said the court would await further tests and "consider any option that may be available for the future conduct of the trial."
Neither he nor the other judge who spoke, Patrick Robinson, said what those other options might be. But court watchers said the options might include appointing a defense lawyer to represent Milosevic even against his wishes.
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