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Purge party leadership

By
NESHO DJURIC

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Two senior provincial officials were ousted Thursday for abuse of power in the wake of high-level calls to purge Yugoslavia's Communist leadership, Belgrade Radio said.

The two, both high-ranking officials in the republic of Serbia, were involved in what was called the Belgrade 'super luxury apartments scandal.'

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Branko Radivojevic, a 50-year-old Serbian cabinet minister, was attacked at Communist party meetings for using his position to move into an apartment which the local news media described as 'super luxurious.'

Radivojevic was dismissed for his involvement in the scandal.

Simultaneously, Serbia's parliament accepted the resignation of Viobran Stanojevic, 53, according to Belgrade radio. Radivojevic was dismissed at the same session of the 3-chamber Serbian parliament.

Stanojevic, until becoming a member of the Serbian state presidium in May 1982, was Serbian interior (police) minister.

He resigned because of 'irregularities and mistaktes' in distributing government apartments and for earlier reprimands by his Communist party organization, the radio said.

Yugoslav ruling Communist party President Mitja Ribicic on Monday had called for purges of the 2.1 million party organization so that 'we have more genuine Communists.'

Ribicic told a party central committee session they must get rid of those who take advantage of 'privileges' of being party members.

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The news media played a key role in exposing the scandal as well as other weaknesses of the Communist leadership.

But, at the same time, the press also is under fire from Communist officials.

The party 163-member central committee is to meet in Belgrade March 14 to discuss problems of 'information and propaganda.'

On Tuesday, two prominent officials in Yugoslavia's south eastern Kosovo province were ousted for 'health reasons' in what some observers see as part of an official anti-media campaign.

There were fears among journalists that the party may launch a crackdown on the media for what the officials described as a strong criticism of the regime.

The media has been under criticism for nearly two years for allegedly giving an extremely gloomy picture of Yugoslavia's decentralized system, plagued by serious economic problems.

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