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Serbian President says Government Misused Funds for Political Purposes

Serbian President Boris Tadic said in a statement in Belgrade on 14 October that an unnamed government ministry funded a demonstration there the previous day of several hundred Serbian refugees from Kosova against Serbian participation in the 23 October parliamentary elections in that province, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported.

Tadic asked the government to confirm that the ministry in question was responsible for the rally. Unnamed government officials told reporters that the government has no information about any misuse of state funds.

The president has called on Kosova's Serbian minority to participate in the ballot, but Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has advised a boycott. Tensions between the president and prime minister have become more public since the recent Serbian local elections, in which Tadic's Democratic Party and the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) emerged as the clear winners.

Elsewhere, Oliver Ivanovic, who is a Serbian member of the Presidency of Kosova's parliament, said on 14 October that the protests had been organized, but did not elaborate. Momcilo Trajkovic, who is also a Kosovar Serb political leader, called on Tadic and Kostunica to work out their differences.

(RFE/RL 15.x.04)

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