Issue No. 266 - April 2 ,  2002

            By Ivan Lozowy

2. Bosnia nad Herezegovina : NO MAN'S AND EVERYMAN'S LAND
         By Radenko Udovicic

            By Mustafa Hajibeyli

    By Ivan Lozowy

    With 97% of the vote counted in Sunday's general elections,
former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko's "Our Ukraine" coalition
has taken first place among those vying for half of the Verkhovna
Rada's 450 seats available on the proportional side:

    Our Ukraine.................................. 23%
    Communist Party............................20%
    For a United Ukraine.....................12%
    Tymoshenko Block.........................7%
    Socialist Party.................................7%
    Social Democratic Party (united).....6%

    Despite a low-profile campaign (Yushchenko, for example, did
not participate in a single televised debate), Yushchenko's block
did only slightly worse than expected.  The block's rating had
topped off at 24% in mid-March, while exit polls on election day
hovered at 27%. On the other hand, Yushchenko's block is doing
much better than expected in the first- past-the-post districts,
with 40 deputies expected to join his faction on the majoritarian
    The two opposition parties headed by Yulia Tymoshenko and
Oleksandr Moroz made tremendous surges to double their
pre-election poll results.
    The long-time election leaders, the communists, lost 4% as
compared to their results in 1998 and, more importantly, are set
to win only 6 seats in the majoritarian districts, as opposed to
their 36 single mandate wins in 1998.  Thus the Communist Party is
set to drop to third place from first in the list of the largest
parliamentary factions.  Their influence, on the wane for the past
ten years of independence, has taken a serious nose dive.
    Most of the other losers fall into two categories.  Firstly,
"political projects" - coalitions specifically designed and backed
by President Leonid Kuchma and his oligarch supporters - lost out
    A case in point was the "Winter Crop Generation," portrayed as
a group of progressive, center-right politicians and
entrepreneurs.  They are coming in at only 1.98% of the vote,
despite massive support on national television: repeated
participation in televised debates, interviews with group leaders,
dozens of ads per day.
    Other losers in this category include the firebrand leftist
and pro-Russian politician Natalia Vitrenko, Kuchma's wife's
Ludmilla's "Women for the Future" coalition and Bohdan Boyko's
tiny Rukh splinter group.  Both had tallied up much more airtime
than even Yushchenko.  In the event, their results are at 3.21%,
2.10% and 0.15%, respectively.
    As expected, the pro-Russian blocks were complete drop-outs.
The Russian Block scored 0.68% and "For a United Ukraine, Belarus
and Russia" got 0.43%.  Incidentally, just before the elections,
Russia's President Putin met with Communist Party leader Petro
Symonenko in an attempt to bolster the communists.
    Russian analysts are in self-denial mode.  Gleb Pavlovsky of
the infamous Fund for Effective Politics, for instance, claims:
"Parties and blocks which are friendly and have a constructive
attitude towards Russia (For a United Ukraine, the Communist Party
of Ukraine, the Social Democratic Party United), together
represent a sufficiently noticeable majority on the party list
side, which Russia can view as a success."
    Another category of losers were parties with parliamentary
factions that had "laid-back" since the last elections.  The Green
Party, which had moved past the 4% threshold in 1998 with 5.5% of
the vote, dropped to a measly 1.29%.  The Yabloko ("apple") party,
despite short, name-oriented TV ads running for over half a year,
got 1.15%.
    It is somewhat difficult to say whether the "party of power"
won or lost.  The For a United Ukraine coalition, headed by
Kuchma's right-hand man Wolodymyr Lytvyn, was rated at no more
than 6-7% in polls.  So its 12% represents a massive jump.  On the
other hand, for a coalition which includes most high government
officials, the regional power bosses and oligarchs surrounding
Kuchma, getting only half of Our Ukraine's results must be very
    Thus the principal lesson of these general elections is that
"administrative resource" - the ability of those in power to
influence voting by fair means and foul - was greatly overrated.
Ukrainians have developed an immunity response to government
pressure, which often, as in the case of Tymoshenko's Block,
worked in favor of those harassed by the authorities. Tymoshenko
used this factor to her advantage, overcoming almost zero coverage
in the electronic media by sending personalized letters to voters
at home.
    As expected, falsification was massive (See The Ukraine
Insider, vol. 2, No. 8 from March 12).  Not only was Our Ukraine
robbed of at least 4% (over half a million votes), but the
government-oligarch "For a United Ukraine" coalition falsified
half of its result.  "Election tourists," voters permitted to vote
in districts other than their own, voted repeatedly by traveling
from polling station to polling station.
    Yushchenko himself has estimated that 8-12% (up to 3 million)
of the vote was falsified.
    In any event, the new parliament may look something like this:

 Coalition/party_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ list _ _ districts _ _totalseats

 For a United Ukraine . . . . . . .... 36 . . . . 75 . . . . . .  111
 Our Ukraine. . . . . . . . . . ........ . 69 . . . . 40 . . . . . .  109
 Communist Party. . . . . . ..... . . . 60 . . . .  7 . . . . . . . 67
 Socialist Party. . . . . . . . .. ......... 21 . . . .  3 . . . . . . . 24
 Tymoshenko Block . . . . . . .. . . 21 . . . .  0 . . . . . . . 21
 Social Democratic Party (united). 18 . . . .  4 . . . . . . . 22

    No wonder that Kuchma has flown to Krym to nurse his wounds.
What's bad news for Kuchma, though, is good news for Ukraine.  For
the first time since independence, Ukrainian voters have spoken
out loudly and clearly. In favor of democracy.

                                    * * *
Bosnia and Herzegovina : NO MAN'S AND EVERYMAN'S LAND
    By Radenko Udovicic

    Bosnia and Herzegovina won the Oscar for the best Foreign
Film, making it the first country of the former Yugoslavia which has
won this prestigious Hollywood acclaim. The movie in question is
"No Man's Land", a debut of the screenwriter and director Danis
Tanovic, which puts additional weight to the prize. the movie's
subject is the war in Bosnia. Our attention is focused on a
Serbian and two Bosnian soldiers who, due to strange circumstances,
find themselves in a territory between two lines of fire - no
man's land. This drama depicts all the absurdity of the Bosnian war
without issuing loud political messages. As a result, the film was
also distributed also in Serb Republic.
    Incredibly, the Oscar is 41st in a string of awards this movie
received. Tanovic was declared best director at Cannes Film Festival,
won a Golden Globe and dozens other awards from various smaller
festivals and government and non-government organizations which
praised the idea of treating a segment from the Bosnian war in an
original manner.
    So, one might say that the Oscar expectedly came to Tanovic. But
what casts special light on the movie are numerous events which
best illustrate Bosnian situation. Tanovic left Sarajevo during
the war thanks to a scholarship grant for directors' study at the
prestigious European Academy at Brussels. After his study, he got
Belgium citizenship and married a Frenchwoman. Money for the movie
was provided by French and Slovenian producers, while actors came
from Slovenia, Croatia, an even Yugoslavia. Although authorities deny
it, film workers from Sarajevo say that the Federation ministry for
culture as well as the local ministry from Sarajevo didn't want to
support the movie because of their complete lack of interest for
development of Bosnian cinema. Danis Tanovic thus managed to
secure money in Europe and fulfill project in a way in which he himself
didn't believe. That is why many asked themselves what connection
Bosnia had with this movie. But, the young director said to all
doubters: "The spirit of the (movie) is what's important. The movie has
an absolutely Bosnian feeling, it deals with Bosnian subject and
reflects them faithfully. The money wasn't Bosnian, but the movie
was made by people from Bosnia or by those who love Bosnia".

    This is for my country - Bosnia

    Still, in order to remove any doubts, the Society of Bosnian Film
Workers officially nominated "No-Man's Land" for an Oscar. Without
any legal or factual doubts, the movie could have officially been
declared as Bosnian. Tanovic, after already standard words of
praise for producers and his "beautiful wife", raised the Oscar
figurine and said: «This is for my country Bosnia». That gesture
caused an eruption of joy in Sarajevo. All newspapers have
published posters depicting great director, and a huge banner
saying "Thank you Daniel" was placed in the main street. In a
bleak political and economic situation, an Oscar is really good sight
for sore eyes of some Bosnian people. We emphasize this "some"
because citizens of Serb Republic, as well as territories with
Croatian majority, are far less enthusiastic about this award,
which can be interpreted as consequence of deep national divisions
and leaning of most Croats and Serbs towards what is coming from
Croatia and Serbia rather than towards what is originally Bosnian.
Still, the movie was shown throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
had a notable success in Banja Luka, capitol of the Serb Republic.
Even film workers from Serb Republics, including some politicians,
congratulated Tanovic, saying that the Oscar was a huge success for
the whole country. However, there were also people whose judgment
can be reduced to sentence: "it's not bad, but it still won the
award due to politics". And political reasons are emphasizing the
positive side of so-called pro-Bosnian forces, whose member is
also Tanovic. But those forces, at least regarding the general world
attitude towards them, are a more progressive and democratic
option than an exclusively national one, that is still existing among
significant number of citizens in Serb Republic.
    Immediately upon winning the Oscar, a new vulgar joke was created
in Sarajevo: "Screw country which has no Oscar". Although it can
be seen as a typical Bosnian humor, it has a deeper political
meaning and is directed against neighboring countries that have
developed their own film industries during past ten years, often
financing movies with political messages. Bosnians are especially
angry at Emir Kusturica, the most prominent Bosnian director, now a
Yugoslav citizen. Kusturica was a many time winner of the Cannes Film
Festival, and twice an Oscar nominee, but he never got one.
Sarajevo citizens accuse him of Serbian propaganda, and are
overjoyed because Tanovic succeeded where Kusturica failed. There
was even  a strange coincidence. At the moment, Kusturica is also
making a war movie about Bosnia, dealing with love between a Serb
man (Orthodox) and Bosniak girl (Moslem). The movie may well be
very good, but it is unlikely it will win Oscar, as it is
unimaginable for Oscar winners two years in a row to come from the
same region with similar subjects.

    "Everyman's land" - Serbian, Croatian and Bosniak

    Disregarding political events concerning movie itself,
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the middle of the new frame of its
constitution. After a month of negotiations, political parties
failed to agree about the final draft of constitutional changes
which would be a response to last year's decision of the Bosnian
Constitutional Court that all three Bosnian nations were equal in
their right throughout Bosnian territory. High representative
Wolfgang Petritsch failed to persuade all sides to accept a
compromise solution. Only three parties, all from the ruling coalition
of the Federation - Alliance for Change - have agreed to non-conditional
signature of the document. All parties from the Serb Republic
expressed their reserves with three articles of the agreement,
saying they accepted 90 per cent of its content. Strongest
Croatian party HDZ rejected agreement completely, claiming that it
was putting Bosniaks and Serbs into superior position over Croats.
    Over a year ago, Bosnian Constitutional Court proclaimed
unconstitutional parts of entities' constitutions which negate
equality of all three Bosnian nations in every part of the
country. Constitution of Serb Republic says that the entity is "a
state of Serbian nations" while Federation constitution proclaims
that Bosniaks and Croats are constitutional nations in Federation.
These formulations were for a long time under criticism of civil
oriented organizations and opposition political parties in Bosnia.
They were claiming as their main argument that such formulations
were in collision with Bosnian constitution which, in its
introductory articles, states that Bosnia and Herzegovina is made
out of three equal nations - Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. So it is
obvious that entities' constitutions, reducing equality of nations
on their territories, overrode the Bosnian constitution and reduced
Serbs to national minority in Federation, and likewise Croats and
Bosniaks in Serb Republic.
    Disputes of how to coordinate entities' constitutions with
this decision of Constitutional Court have lasted for over a year.
During the last month, the international community launched
negotiations between strongest political parties. Parties from
Federation B-H insisted on symmetrical solutions in both entities,
while Serb Republic parties claimed that symmetry should be based
on meaning, not form, as it would mean disbanding of Serb
Republic. For a long time, representatives from Serb Republic have
been accusing Bosniaks, Croats and the international community of
trying to revise the Dayton Accords, and disband Serb Republic. They
also used old charges of Bosniaks wanting to centralize Bosnia and
Herzegovina in order to achieve hegemony over the other two nations.
    After a month of negotiations, the High Commissioner finally
drafted a document which took into account colliding demands.
According to it, executive power in entities will be formed
according to population census from 1991, which mostly doesn't
reflect current situation. For example, the Serb Republic government
will have 16 members, with 8 of them Bosniaks and Croats. Serbs
are greatly reserved to this term and insist that the government
should be formed according to the election results. On the other
hand, the document also accepted Serbian demand to implement Council
of Nations instead of House of Nations in Serb Republic. Their
main difference is that Council of Nations can only block
parliamentary decisions which endanger «vital national interests»
while the House of Nations, which already exists in the
Federation, is part of the parliament and must confirm every law.
    The High commissioner said that there could be no more changes in
the document. He also left open the possibility of overriding possible
parliamentary rejections of the document, which basically once
again illustrates that Bosnia cannot function without the
international community. Every attempt of turning Bosnia into
"everyman's land" will show that it is basically a "no-man's
land". And Tanovic's movie doesn't mention it.

                                * * *
    By Mustafa Hajibeyli

    On March 23rd, there was real chaos for nearly an hour in
Baku. The Aliev regime has ordered to use reprisal on the crowd of
people that attempted to hold a mass action under the slogan of
resignation, and a peaceful rally scheduled by the Movement of
United Opposition [MUO] with the claims of Aliev's resignation and
holding extraordinary presidential elections was broken up with
special brutality. Thousands of citizens participating in the
action were used reprisal. The police colleagues armed with
cudgels and helmets had no mercy even for women and the elderly. The
central streets of the capital was colored with the blood of
Aliev's opponents.

    A brief reporting

    Besides of numerous police troops, the personal guard troops
of high-rang officials, and even military units, were mobilized for
breaking up the rally. The planned place of the action- "Fizuli"
square was third surrounded by the police forces yet several hours
before the demonstration. There were formed live barricade of
policemen at the entire ways bringing to the "Fizuli" square in
the radius of approximately 500 meters. There was, in fact,
applied the extraordinary situation in the city. But despite of
that, approximately from 3 PM thousands of opposition supporters
began martching towards the "Fizuli" square. The participants of
the action were not permitted to the place of rally and begun
recanting "Resignation" just in front of the police cardboards,
and in some places attempted to enter into the square by breaking
the resistance of the armed police. At 16:00  the special troops
with cudgels without any appointment were brought to the place of
incident. And those troops began attacking on the picketers that
recanted the 'resignation' slogans. The first such attack was
against the opposition members gathered in front of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, a little far from the "Fizuli" square. On
seeing Musavat's chairman Isa Gambar coming there in front of the
picketers the special troops demonstrated an unseen cruelty. The
opposition supporters could surround Isa Gambar and protect him
from the police attack. But tens of picketers were injured there.
The policemen did not even abstain from driving a car on the
participants of the rally. The service car of Isa Gambar was also
attacked there. Observers estimate that the attack as an attempt of
terror on Isa Gambar, but fortunately, the opposition leader was
not in his car at that time, but was among his supporters. Another
group of picketers faced with brutal police attack were members of
the Musavat Party that were at the "Fizuli" street. A group led by
the Musavat's deputy chairman Arif Hajili could step a little
towards the "Fizuli" square despite of police resistance.
Thereafter, besides the new police forces, soldiers were also
mobilized at the "Fizuli" street and opposition supporters were
scattered with special cruelty. Analogical incidents happened at
the tens of other streets of the capital.
    In light of all these brutality of the reaction
representatives the opposition members have demonstrated the real
persistence. The participants of the rally brutally beaten by the
police gathered together again and recalled the slogan of
"Resignation". There happened chaotic rallies under the
"Resignation" slogan in several streets being outside of police
control on that day, and that situation continued approximately
until 18:00.


    Opposition leaders stated that nearly 10,000 citizens took
part in the action. According to today's reports, over 200
picketers were seriously injured at the rally. Representatives of the
Baku Town Chief Police Department spread reports that 10
policemen were injured at the action as well. Nearly 100 opposition members
were detained during the rally; 47 out them are members of the
Musavat, 17 of the Popular Front, and 20 of the Democratic
Parties. While some of the detained were released after the
completion of the rally, 49 of them were charged administratively
for 15 days of imprisonment. Police agencies refuse to provide
information about some of the detained picketers. It is expected
that they will be illegally charged with criminal case.

    Political impact of the action

    While commenting the political results of the March 23rd
rally, first of all, it should be noted that the protest action has
taken place even though the authorities did not permit the
opposition to enter the "Fizuli" square. If the "Resignation"
slogan is recalled only at the "Fizuli" square in case the
government permits this action, at the present case that slogan
was recalled at all the central squares of the capital. The
resolution of the demonstration was released to the public through
the media. Besides the local media outlets, the foreign mass media
[especially the TV stations of Turkey and Russia] separated a broad
coverage of the rally in Baku. And the shoots on police violence
took a special place in those reporting. The government
authorities have, in fact, helped direct public attention to the
opposition's claims by resisting the rally through the police.
    Secondly, after the March 23rd incidents, the hopes for the
Azerbaijani authorities that whenever can respect the democratic
values were disappeared once and for all. Just several days before
the rally, arresting separate opposition representatives,
intimidation of the party leaders once again showed that the
government does not use the legislation. It was once again
proved that the Aliev authorities do not abstain from using force
against the people in order to protect his power. Another
interesting moment is that the government representatives are
declaring the freedom of free assembly is guaranteed in the
country, and sometimes consider satisfactory holding protest
actions with social claims. But they are going to prohibit simply
the protest actions turned directly to the government itself and
held under the "Resignation" slogan. It is notable that the
Executive Power of Baku City gave such a response to the warning
letter of the opposition concerning the rally scheduled for March
23: "It is permitted holding this action at the "Galaba" square
(outside of the city) with the term of not recalling the
"Resignation" slogan".
    Thirdly, it has been revealed that public resistence
against the Aliev regime is strengthening in Azerbaijan. The
opposition is already able to hold the protest ceremonies at a
place scheduled by itself relevant to the legislature, but not at
a place defined by the government. So the opposition demonstrates
his will to the government and entirely the public. On the other
hand, opposition leaders are stating that demonstrations under the
"Resignation" slogan will continue henceforth, as well. The next
action is expected to be held in April.