The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become, different- to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses. - John Fischer
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 241, 17 December 1993







RUSSIA



ZHIRINOVSKY TO BE INVESTIGATED. The General Procurator's office
told an RFE/RL correspondent on 16-December that it plans to
investigate whether Vladimir Zhirinovsky has broken the law with
his remarks about non-Russians and Russia's neighbors. First
Deputy Security Minister Sergei Stepashin had been quoted earlier
by ITAR-TASS as saying that Zhirinovsky's appeals that "instigate
ethnic strife and advocate national exclusivity-or insult sovereign
peoples and states" cannot be ignored. The weekly Kuranty of
16 December quoted Zhirinovsky as saying that "wars need to be
provoked between clans and tribes . . . they will annihilate
each other." He was referring to "the Armenians, the Azerbaijanis,
the Turks, the mountain peoples, the Tajiks, the Uzbeks, and
so forth." In a reference to Uzbekistan, Zhirinovsky was said
to have asserted that "tribal societies should starve" and not
live at the expense of the civilized Russian nation. -Keith Bush


PRESIDENT IS REPORTED TO BE IMPATIENT TO GET FINAL ELECTION RESULTS.
Yeltsin's spokesman, Anatolii Krasikov, said on 16 December that
the president was getting impatient to receive a final vote count
on the parliamentary elections, Interfax reported. The Central
Electoral Commission has released figures from around 190 of
Russia's 224-constituencies. Many of the voters yet to be counted
are from Moscow, which is considered to be the main base of support
for Yeltsin. Whereas the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic
Party leads the vote in the elections to the State Duma on party
tickets, the pro-reform Russia's Choice did well in elections
in single-candidate constituencies. All in all, it is anticipated
that the reformist candidates will get slightly more seats in
the lower chamber of the parliament than the opposition. -Vera
Tolz

COMMUNISTS TO COOPERATE WITH AGRARIAN PARTY. The leader of the
Russian Communist Party, Gennadii Zyuganov, was quoted by Interfax
as saying on 16 December that the communists were prepared to
cooperate in the new parliament with the Agrarian Party and those
individual deputies who opposed Egor Gaidar's economic reform
policies. The electoral platform of the Agrarinian Party is close
to that of the communists. Zyuganov did not comment on Gaidar's
proposal that the communist join an anti-fascist coalition in
the parliament. -Vera Tolz

WOMEN OF RUSSIA NOT JOINING RUSSIA'S CHOICE. The leader of The
Women of Russia movement , which gained approximately 24 seats
in the State Duma, has declared that her party will not form
a permanent coalition with any of the other factions, Ostankino
TV's "Novosti" reported on 15 December. (Observers had thought
that the movement might join Egor Gaidar's Russia's choice and
other pro-democratic blocs.) Alevtina Fedulova told journalists
that her movement will set up its own faction in the parliament
which will fight for the realization of a more social-oriented
reform policy. She stated that all blocs in the parliament, including
that of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, have placed social issues at the
top of their agendas, and this will make the search for consensus
in the new parliament easier. -Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN'S SPOKESMAN ON PERSONNEL CHANGES. Presidential spokesman
Anatolii Krasikov told ITAR-TASS on 16 December that Yeltsin
would stick firmly to democratic reforms and retain members of
his government who were capable of promoting them further. Krasikov
said there could be changes in the Russian government after the
opposition's success in the elections. But he said these changes
would be aimed at strengthening the government's reformist wing.
On 15-December, Yeltsin had dismissed his political adviser Sergei
Stankevich , Aleksandr Kotenkov, the head of the State-Legal
Administration of the Russian President, and Ostankino TV chief
Vyacheslav Bragin. Asked about these dismissals, Krasikov said
only that "the new situation required some personnel changes."
-Vera Tolz

GORE, CHERNOMYRDIN SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS. US Vice President
Al Gore and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on 16 December
signed a package of agreements signifying billion of dollars
worth of investment in the Russian economy, according to Russian
and Western news agencies. The most significant agreement involves
Russian participation in the NASA-led space station program and
will mean $400-million for the Russian Space Agency in 1994-1997.
Russia's participation is expected to extend into the next decade
and will reportedly cut $2 billion off the program's original
costs. Other agreements concern grants for the purchase of American-made
equipment for improving energy efficiency, measures to promote
joint ventures in Russian industry, taxation, the inspection
of nuclear power plants and the regulation of Russian uranium
exports. -Erik Whitlock

NO AGREEMENT ON WEAPONS URANIUM. While in Moscow, Vice President
Albert Gore signed an agreement resolving a dispute over Russian
dumping of reactor fuel uranium on the US market. However, the
Washington Post of 17 December reports that no final agreement
was reached on plans to dilute and then sell as reactor fuel
the highly enriched uranium extracted from nuclear weapons. Ukraine,
Belarus, and Kazakhstan are all entitled to a share of the proceeds
of such sales, and Ukraine has been demanding that it be paid
for uranium removed from tactical nuclear weapons transferred
to Russia in early 1992. The Post reports that Deputy Defense
Secretary William Perry and US Ambassador at Large Strobe Talbott
have been sent to Ukraine to conduct further negotiations. -John
Lepingwell

CRIME IN MILITARY INCREASING. The Main Military Procurator has
reported that crime within the officer corps has increased alarmingly
in the past year, according to ITAR-TASS of 16 December. While
no annual growth figures were given, there were 2,000 crimes
during 1992 and the first ten months of 1993. The report claims
that this constitutes 6.4% of all the crimes reported in the
country over this period, a disproportionately high rate. (This
implies, however, that only about 30,000 crimes were reported
in the country as a whole-a very low figure. Some of the reported
figures therefore appear to be in error.) The growth rate was
highest in the Siberian, Moscow, and North Caucasus military
districts, and the procurator noted that the most disturbing
trend was the increasing theft and sale of arms and ammunition.
-John Lepingwell

REBEL ARMY UNITS IN CHECHNYA RETURN TO BARRACKS. On the evening
of 16-December rebel army units that had surrounded the presidential
palace in Groznyi in the morning returned to barracks, ITAR-TASS
reported. The units had been brought in by their commanders who
had appeared on Groznyi television the previous day demanding
the President Dzhokhar Dudaev resign as prime minister, create
a security council and ministry of defense, and hold parliamentary
elections by the end of March. The units withdrew after talks
between representatives of the units and Dudaev, which are to
continue. ITAR-TASS cited some of the commanders as saying that
they were not prepared to yield over their demands, but would
not use force, and would not allow any third party outside Chechnya
to intervene. -Ann Sheehy

NEW TUVIN PARLIAMENT ELECTED. A new 32deputy Tuvin parliament
called the Supreme Khural was elected on 12 December at the same
time as the elections to the Russian parliament, ITAR-TASS reported
on 16 December. The Supreme Khural will act in accordance with
the new Tuvin constitution approved in a referendum on 12 December,
which entitles it to take decisions on virtually everything including
questions of war and peace and frontiers, and to suspend legislative
and government acts of the Russian Federation "if they go beyond
the limits of the objects of jurisdiction and powers envisaged
by the Russian constitution, the federal treaty, and other agreements."
ITAR-TASS reported the same day that the president of Tuva Sherig-Ool
Oorzhak and the republican Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir
Kara-Sal had been elected to the Federation Council while a Tuvin
scientist Ara-Kys Arakchaa would represent Tuva in the State
Duma. -Ann Sheehy

SAKHA, BASHKORTOSTAN PRESIDENTS WANT CONSTITUTION AMENDED. Mikhail
Nikolaev, president of Sakha (Yakutia), has said that Russia's
territories need more autonomy following the success of ultra-nationalists
in the elections on 12 December, RL's "Liberty Live" program
said on 15 December. He said that if the territories had more
rights they would have more responsibility for the unity of the
Russian Federation and the newly-approved constitution needed
"correction" to allow this. In an interview in Nezavisimaya gazeta
on 16 December, Bashkortostan president Murtaza Rakhimov said
there were no grounds for euphoria over the new constitution,
which was like a "premature baby." In Rakhimov's view the main
task of the federal assembly was to bring this baby up to strength.
-Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



COMMUNIST PARTY GAINING GROUND IN TAJIKISTAN. The Communist Party
of Tajikistan, one of only two legal political parties in the
country since the banning in June of all anti-Communist parties
and movements, is reverting to Soviet-era form in publicly proclaiming
the celebrations in 1994 of the seventieth anniversary of its
founding. ITAR-TASS, reporting the publication of a party resolution
on the celebrations, noted on 16-December that the Tajik Communist
Party now has more than 80,000 members and retains its dominant
role in both the government and legislature. Throughout 1993
various government figures have sought to assure foreign visitors
that, despite appearances, they are not really Communists. -Bess
Brown

AFGHAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT TAJIKISTAN. Afghanistan's President
Burhanuddin Rabbani is due to begin a three-day official visit
to Tajikistan on 19-December, AFP and Russian agencies reported
on 16-December. The visit, originally scheduled for October but
deferred because of fighting on the Tajik-Afghan border, was
arranged during Tajik head of state Imomali Rakhmonov's visit
to Kabul earlier in the year to seek Afghan help in the repatriation
of Tajik refugees. The Tajik Foreign Ministry was reported as
having announced that the use of Afghan territory by Tajik oppositionists
attacking Tajik government troops and Russian border guards would
be among the topics discussed during Rabbani's stay. -Bess Brown


ELECTION RULES REFINED IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan's parliament,
having succeeded in forcing the country's prime minister and
his government out of office, has continued its course of restricting
President Askar Akaev's program of democratic reforms. On 16-December
the Supreme Soviet adopted a law on election campaigns that prohibits
the use of party lists, Radio Mayak reported. The candidate who
receives the majority of the votes in each electoral district
wins, acccording to the new rules. Candidates are to be nominated
by district as well. The report did not indicate whether identification
of candidates by party would be allowed. -Bess Brown

GEORGIAN COUPON CONTINUES TO LOSE VALUE. The coupon introduced
in Georgia as a parallel currency in April at par with the ruble
is losing value hourly, according to GIA-TASS. Traded at 40:1
against the ruble in late November, its value has now fallen
to 66:1. Georgian Minister of Finance David Yakobidze was quoted
by ITAR-TASS on 14 December as affirming that "inflation is not
always destructive, it can contribute to the rational development
of the economy." He conceded, however, that the sole force currently
capable of halting the decline in value of the coupon was "the
industriousness of the people, in the first instance of the peasantry."
-Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



KEY EUROPEAN STATES RECOGNIZE MACEDONIA. On 16 December several
of the most influential European states declared that they are
in the process of establishing full diplomatic relations with
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. While four EC countries-Germany,
Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark-confirmed that steps toward
full recognition had already been taken, France said it would
follow suit before the end of 1993. Reportedly Italy joined the
move, as did non-EC members Sweden and Finland, which both have
peacekeeping missions stationed in Macedonia. Greece, however,
which consistently has resisted recognition on grounds that Macedonia
would have territorial designs on its northern province carrying
the same name, denounced the development, sending protest notes
to each of the European capitals concerned. Greek radio quoted
government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos as calling on EC partners
"not to reinforce Skopje's intransigence," and at the same time
reminding the Macedonian leadership that the landlocked country's
"economic viability depends on Greece." In Skopje President Kiro
Gligorov told journalists that he was "highly delighted" by the
news, but he stressed that good relations with Athens remain
essential. Gligorov said he was ready to sign an agreement on
the inviolability of borders to help accommodate Greece. German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who lately has been sharply attacked
by the Greek government for allegedly prodding its partners toward
Macedonian recognition, remarked in Bonn that the angry Greek
reaction was "something you have to live with." Meanwhile in
Brussels, diplomats suggested that the remaining EC states could
go ahead with recognition after a meeting of the foreign ministers
scheduled for 20 December. -Kjell Engelbrekt

NEW BOSNIAN PEACE TALKS BEGIN IN VIENNA. International media
report on 17-December that a new round of negotiations is slated
to begin later in the day under the patronage of Austrian Foreign
Minister Alois Mock. As of mid-morning it was not clear exactly
who will be participating, and whether the Vienna session will
replace one expected in Geneva later next week. Greece had hoped
to host a session in Salonika the previous weekend, but international
negotiators proposed the Geneva venue instead. Greece has generally
been supportive of Serbia in the Yugoslav conflict, while Austria
has been friendly to Croatia and Bosnia. Any talks, however,
seem likely to focus on two key issues, both of which have been
deadlocked. The first is the Muslim demand for about 3% of additional
Serb-held territory, which the Serbs reject unless the Muslims
are willing to agree to a swap. The second is the Muslim demand
for access to the Adriatic, apparently at Neum. That port is
part of Herzegovina, but the population is ethnically Croat and
President Franjo Tudjman has said that Croatia will not give
it up. He has, however, offered to discuss free trade zones for
the Muslims in other Croatian ports. European experts have ruled
that Neum is technically unsuited for development as a port.
Nearby Ploce in Croatia has traditionally been Bosnia's outlet
to the sea, lying at the end of the north-south railway line
from Sarajevo and Mostar to the Adriatic. -Patrick Moore

CROATIA TO TALK TO "THE DEVIL INCARNATE"? VJESNIK ON 17 DECEMBER
REPORTS ON A DECLARATION BY THE LEADING OPPOSITION PARTY, THE
CROATIAN SOCIAL LIBERAL PARTY, IN WHICH THE LIBERALS REPEAT THEIR
REJECTION OF ANY TERRITORIAL DEALS OR A LAND-FOR-PEACE SETTLEMENT
IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA. Tudjman has frequently raised the possibility
of redrawing borders as part of a broader settlement, and Reuters
quotes a top official of his party as saying that Croatia may
have to "negotiate even with the devil incarnate . . . to find
a peaceful way out of the drama of war." The article adds that
Western diplomats have convinced the Croatian leadership that
it cannot win an armed conflict with the rebel Serbs who hold
about a third of the republic's territory, and that Zagreb must
negotiate. A map published in Politika on 8-November may well
indicate ultimate Serbian ambitions, while Tudjman is known to
favor the Serb-Croat agreement of 1939 as a model for a new settlement.
-Patrick Moore

CROATIAN ROUNDUP. War news is not, however, the only fare in
the Croatian media these days. The early and harsh winter has
frequently made headlines, while Vecernji list of 17-December
notes that the government predicts a hard first quarter of 1994
as its stabilization plan moves ahead to tackle banking and insurance.
Inflation is now expected to be down to about 1% per month, and
the Croatian dinar has improved its standing recently against
the German mark as the result of the government's slow but unmistakable
successes. Elsewhere, the Croat dailies on 15 December noted
the arrival in Split of Barbara Bush as part of an American delegation
bringing relief supplies for Croatia and Bosnia. Vjesnik also
reported on the composition and functions of Tudjman's often
shadowy staff, while the media on 17 December discuss the killing
of Croatian and Bosnian technicians by Islamic fundamentalists
in Algeria the previous day. -Patrick Moore

FORMER DISSIDENT CHARGED WITH DEFAMING HAVEL. CTK reports that
Petr Cibulka, a newspaper editor and former dissident, was on
16 December charged by Prague prosecutors with defaming President
Vaclav Havel. On 14 December Cibulka called the president a "pig"
and "brute" after Havel had criticized Cibulka for publishing
lists of alleged collaborators of the communist secret police.
Havel accused Cibulka of organizing a witch hunt and causing
human tragedies. A spokesman for the Prague Investigation Office
told CTK that Cibulka could get up to two years in jail for the
remarks. He would be tried under a controversial penal code provision
prohibiting defamation of the president and other high officials.
The provision was approved by the Czech parliament in November
as part of a package of amendments to the penal code. Amid protests
at home and from international organizations, Havel considered
vetoing the entire package because of the controversial clause
but eventually decided to sign the package; simultaneously, he
asked the Constitutional Court to review the controversial defamation
clause. Cibulka told CTK on 17 December that such legislation
is of a "terrorist and anti-democratic nature." -Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES HUNGARIAN AUTONOMY. On 16 December
parliamentary deputies discussed plans by ethnic Hungarians to
create an autonomous region in southern Slovakia. Milan Janicina
of the Slovak National Party refused the proposed Komarno initiative,
calling it "a provocation" which attempts to break Slovakia's
cohesion. Augustin Marian Huska of the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia said the initiative "is an attempt to usurp power without
observing any democratic principles." Stating that irredentism
"will bring no peace," Huska presented a proposal for a declaration
which would prohibit attempts to divide the country's territory
on the basis of minorities' demands. Peter Brnak, an independent,
quoted Attorney General Vojtech Bacho's view on the matter, saying
that the initiative is a "penal act" which can be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, Erno Rozsa of the ethnic Hungarian Coexistence Movement
refuted claims that the declaration violates the constitution,
threatens Slovakia's territorial integrity or discriminates against
ethnic Slovaks who live in southern Slovakia. The Office for
Affairs of Hungarians Living Abroad has not made an official
statement on the matter, TASR reports, although the office's
representative for Slovakia, Tibor Szabo, said he considers it
"an internal affair" of Slovakia, in which Hungary has "no right"
to interfere. -Sharon Fisher

MECIAR'S PARTY LOSES ANOTHER DEPUTY. The MDS lost another parliamentary
deputy, bringing the strength of its coalition government down
to 79 out of 150 seats, Pravda reports on 16 December. Marcela
Gburova, a representative from eastern Slovakia, resigned when
party members were asked to sign a declaration that they would
not leave the MDS. -Sharon Fisher

POLISH SEJM SLAMS 1992 GOVERNMENTS. By a vote of 146 to 89 with
151 abstentions, the Sejm on 17-December rejected the performance
of the two governments in office in 1992. Nominally an assessment
of the implementation of the 1992 budget, the vote in this case
was a political verdict imposed by the new, "postcommunist" Sejm
on the last two Solidarity governments, headed by Jan Olszewski
(January-June 1992) and Hanna Suchocka (July 1992-November 1993).
The Sejm chose to exempt Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak from
its deliberations despite his thirty-three days in office in
June 1992. Deputies from the current ruling coalition charged
the 1992 governments with "degrading" agriculture and failing
to control inflation, collect sufficient taxes, or win profits
from privatization. The opposition protested that 1992 was the
first year of Poland's economic recovery. Some Democratic Left
Alliance deputies, including Aleksander Kwasniewski, refrained
from criticism and abstained from the vote. The negative vote
has no legal consequences, as the two governments are no longer
in power. In normal circumstances it would mean the government's
downfall. Gazeta Wyborcza noted on 17 December that even the
last communist government headed by Mieczyslaw Rakowski, which
drove Poland to hyperinflation, had been spared the treatment
now meted out to Olszewski and Suchocka. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH SEJM VOTES TO RAISE TAXES. The Sejm on 16 December approved
a government proposal to raise tax brackets from 20, 30, and
40% to 21, 33, and 45%, while at the same time increasing the
standard deduction. If the Senate and president also accept the
legislation, Poles in 1994 will pay 21% on income up to 90.8
million zloty ($4,540); 33% on income between 90.8 and 181.6
million ($9,080); and 45% on income over 181.6 million. A proposal
by the socialist Union of Labor to impose a 50% tax on the highest
earners was voted down, PAP reports. In the effort to limit the
economic "gray sphere," the Sejm also voted to impose a fixed-rate
tax on private firms with turnover of less than 1.2 billion zloty
($60,000) per year. This tax will affect about a million private
entrepreneurs. Limits were set on tax breaks for children attending
private schools, deductions for home repair were reduced, and,
in an amendment supported by the government, Church offerings
were exempted from income tax. -Louisa Vinton

UKRAINIANS SHOCKED BY YELTSIN'S ACCUSATION. There has been further
strong reaction in Ukraine to Russian president Boris Yeltsin's
remarks on 15-December accusing Kiev of "deceiving" the world
over its nuclear disarmament policy and calling its approach
an "evil" (see RFE/RL Daily Report, no. 240), Ukrainian media
report. On 16 December the Russian temporary envoy in Ukraine
was summoned to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and informed that
such statements are "impermissible" and could adversely affect
Ukrainian-Russian relations. Mykola Shulha, the head of the parliamentary
commission on state sovereignty, was shown on Ukrainian TV saying
that it was highly improper of a president of a neighboring and
supposedly friendly state to refer, in effect, to the entire
Ukrainian parliament as cheats. According to Interfax, the leader
of the Rukh opposition party, Vyacheslav Chornovil, described
Yeltsin's comments as "an attempt to divert the attention of
the world public from the crashing defeat of democracy" in Russia,
while, another deputy, the leader of the Ukrainian Social Democratic
Party, Yurii Zbitnev, called them "a concession to new political
forces." Yeltsin, Zbitnev commented, "has begun responding to
the new balance of power in his country." -Bohdan Nahaylo

AGREEMENT ON WITHDRAWAL OF 14TH ARMY ALMOST READY. Russia's ambassador
to Moldova, Vladimir Plechko, stated in an interview published
in the Kishinev newspaper Telegraph on 16 December that the main
agreement on the stage by stage withdrawal of Russia's 14th army
from Moldova was virtually ready, ITAR-TASS reported. Only one
issue, the exact timing of the withdrawal, remained to be decided,
Plechko said. Plechko was in favor of the Dniester authorities
taking part in the talks since the practical realization of the
army's withdrawal would also depend on them. He maintained that
the army's presence in the region had been a stabilizing influence.
-Ann Sheehy

MORE PROTESTS IN ROMANIA. About 10,000 people rallied in downtown
Bucharest on 16-December to commemorate the beginning of the
uprising that toppled Nicolae Ceausescu's communist regime in
December 1989, Radio Bucharest reports. Demonstrators protested
worsening living conditions in Romania and chanted slogans against
President Ion Iliescu and the left-wing government of Premier
Nicolae Vacaroiu; they also marched to the Russian embassy to
renew protests against harsh sentences-including a death one-passed
on 8-December against six Moldovan Popular Front activists by
a court in Tiraspol, the capital of the self-proclaimed Dniester
Republic. Thousands also gathered in the southwest city of Timisoara,
the cradle of the 1989 revolt. Other rallies were organized in
Constanta, Ploiesti and Slatina. The protests were the latest
in a series of large anti-government demonstrations which began
on 18 November. -Dan Ionescu

LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS POSTPONED. On 15 December Russia's top
negotiator with Latvia Sergei Zotov told Interfax that the next
round of talks, scheduled for 20-21 December, would be postponed
to early January, BNS reported on 16 December. Zotov said that
the legal status of the radar station at Skrunda had be settled
before signing a final troop withdrawal agreement. Russia had
offered to withdraw its troops by 31 August 1994 if allowed to
maintain the station for six more years. Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis regretted the postponement and noted that Latvia had
no proof of the necessity of the station for world security,
Baltfax reported on 16 December. Ulmanis said he would like a
third party, such as the UN, US, or another country, to confirm
that the Skrunda station was an objective factor of security
in the world. -Saulius Girnius

LATVIA'S AND ESTONIA'S 1994 BUDGETS. On 15-December Latvian Prime
Minister Valdis Birkavs said that his Cabinet had adopted a 1994
draft budget envisioning revenues of 526.1 million lati ($842
million) and expenditures of 565.4 million lati ($905 million)
or a budget deficit of 39.3 million lati ($63 million), BNS reports.
He said that the budget's two priorities are social maintenance
and the continuation of reforms. The parliament will debate the
draft budget on 13-January 1994. The same day Estonia's parliament
by a vote of 58 to 12 approved its 1994 budget with both income
and expenditures of 5,793 million kroons (DM 724-million), Baltfax
reported on 16 December. The revenues will be derived from the
turnover tax (2,260 million kroons), business income tax (1,326
million kroons), individual income tax (539.9 million kroons),
and excise taxes (320 million kroons). The greatest expenditures
will be for social (1,930 million kroons) and medical (1,235
million kroons) insurance, and the Culture Ministry (1,195 million
kroons), while the Defense Ministry will get 264.8 million kroons.
-Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN PREVENTIVE DETENTION LAW. On 15 December the Seimas
by a vote of 72-to 0 with 5-abstentions adopted a new law on
preventive detention, BNS reports. In July it had passed a law,
due to expire on 1 January 1994, that allowed for the detention
for up to two months of individuals suspected of activities in
organized criminal groups, with the approval of a city or raion
prosecutor or the Prosecutor General. The new law allows similar
detention if it is approved within 48 hours by a district judge,
a Supreme Court judge or vice chairman of the Supreme Court.
All persons detained under the July law will either have to be
released within seven days or taken to a judge to approve the
detention. -Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN INTERIOR MINISTER APPOINTED. On 14 December President
Lennart Meri appointed Heiki Arike (born in 1965) as Interior
Minister to replace Lagle Parek who resigned on 27 November,
BNS reports. A board meeting of the National Independence Party
on 11 December nominated Arike as its candidate even though he
is not yet a party member. Arike, who had been a member of the
Communist Party, had earlier served as Tartu deputy police chief
and deputy interior minister. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Keith Bush and Edith Oltay









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