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Report of Canadian Election Observer in Yugoslavia
by Marjaleena Repo [9-24-2000]

www.tenc.net
[Emperor's Clothes]

[This report was written by election observer Marjaleena Repo, an anti-war activist of Finnish descent who lives in Canada. - Emperor's Clothes]

The international observers of the Yugoslav presidential and parliamentary elections have arrived in Belgrade - some 200 of them from (so far) from 54 countries.

Contrary to the reports that "they have not been allowed in," there are registered observers from the following Western European countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and UK. (So far, the single American observer is an active senior participant in the Gore presidential campaign.) Among the observers are parliamentarians, delegates from political parties and organizations, as well as independents like the two participants from Canada.

The Canadian delegates have attended political rallies of the three major presidential candidates, in Belgrade and Novi Sad. These events were noisy and lively affairs, without any observable disturbances and any noticeable police presence. Literature was freely distributed and received at these events, in a way no different from political rallies in Canada.

One of us (Marjaleena Repo) has paid particular attention to election posters as she has been involved in the long standing and not-yet-finished fight for the right to poster in Canada. And she can report that posters are everywhere in the street scene, accompanied by graffiti and the defacing of each others posters even-steven fashion, it seems.

Repo has seen posters at work in downtown Belgrade, with posters urging women to vote, on top of other election messages! She had a chance to discuss this contradiction with five English-speaking Yugoslavian youth, with their buckets and sponges.

Unlike in Canadian cities, the posters appear not to be scraped down by city workers, but live to suffer the indignities from competing political parties. In addition, there are huge billboards advertising the three major presidential candidates all around the Belgrade cityscape. All in all, Belgrade has all the appearance of democracy in action...

While the Canadian and other Western media have already declared the election to be "rigged" (without any evidence, of course), we believe that the actual evidence for rigging and distorting the Yugoslav election results has been found in the once-democratic countries of U.S. and the European Union, who in an wholly illegal and undemocratic fashion are interfering in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country. This, of course, must be condemned by all true democrats, be they individuals, organizations or nations.

***

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