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Monday, November 6, 2000

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Don’t forfeit right
to vote tomorrow

Bullet The issue: The general election is tomorrow.
Bullet Our view: Exercising the right to vote is the essence of democracy.

TOMORROW it will be over. The seemingly interminable political campaign will culminate in the general election. If you have registered, be sure to vote. Don't succumb to the notion that your vote doesn't count. In every election, some contests are decided by a handful of votes.

Moreover, the right to vote is at the heart of democracy. This is the most fundamental way to participate in our system of government. People have died fighting for this right. It should be exercised.

The Star-Bulletin announced its election endorsements last week. We repeat them here:

President: Al Gore; U.S. senator: Daniel Akaka; U.S. House, 1st District: Phil Meyers; U.S. House, 2nd District: Patsy Mink.

20th state Senate District: Hank Makini.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs, at large, four-year term: Haunani Apoliona; at large, two-year term:Kinau Kamali'i, Charles Rose, Oswald Stender; Hawaii Island: Hannah Springer; Kauai/Niihau: Ilei Beniamina; Molokai/Lanai: Colette Machado; Maui: Louis Hao; Oahu: Clayton Hee.

Board of Education, Honolulu: Denise Matsumoto; Leeward Oahu: Marilyn Harris; Central Oahu: Michael Nakamura; Oahu at large: Jacqueline Heupel, Donna Ikeda, Garrett Toguchi; Maui: Vinnie Linares; Hawaii Island: Herbert Watanabe; Kauai: Mitsugi Nakashima.

On the proposed constitutional amendments:

Question No. 1, University of Hawaii autonomy: vote no.

Question No. 2, appointment of state tax commission every 10 years: vote yes.

Question No. 3, adjustment of staggered terms of state senators: vote yes.

These are our opinions. We hope you will consider them in making your choices. Whatever your choices, please vote.

Star-Bulletin Election Guide

New Yugoslav regime
is admitted to U.N.

Bullet The issue: The new government of Yugoslavia was admitted to the United Nations but without a commitment to hand over ousted President Slobodan Milosevic.
Bullet Our view: President Vojislav Kostunica will have to extradite Milosevic for trial for war crimes in order to remove the stain of his crimes from the new government.

NOW that Yugoslavia has been readmitted to the United Nations, President Vojislav Kostunica will face increasing pressure to hand over his ousted opponent, Slobodan Milosevic, to the U.N. war crimes tribunal. Kostunica has stated repeatedly that he would not extradite Milosevic or other Serbs accused of crimes against Muslims, Croats and ethnic Albanians during the recent conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. Kostunica has branded the tribunal an "American court," and said the constitution does not allow extraditions.

Following the breakup of the Yugoslav socialist republic in the early 1990s, Yugoslavia refused to apply for admission to the United Nations as a new country. Consequently it was barred from speaking or voting in the General Assembly. However, it remained a member of the U.N.

Now the General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a new member state. The flag of the Communist era in Yugoslavia, which had continued to fly at U.N. headquarters until Wednesday, was lowered and the flag of the federal republic raised.

Although Kostunica's dramatic election victory over Milosevic stemmed from discontent with the authoritarian policies of the former president, he has maintained the posture of a nationalist and has remained critical of NATO intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. In this respect Kostunica seems to reflect the attitude of many Yugoslav citizens, whose grievances have to do with the way they were treated by Milosevic rather than his abuses of non-Serbs.

Admission to the U.N. should make it more difficult for the new government in Belgrade to maintain its policy of non-cooperation with the war crimes tribunal. At the meeting to admit the new government to the U.N., representatives of the United States and other governments reminded the regime that membership carries obligations, including the turnover of accused persons to the tribunal.

Moreover, human rights groups within Yugoslavia are urging Kostunica to cooperate with the tribunal. Natasa Kandic, director of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund, said her group and other nongovernmental organizations would try to convince the new president that Serbs accused of war crimes should stand trial.

Serbia has opened up to the world, she said, and should meet its international obligations to hand over war criminals if it wants to continue to progress toward full democracy.

Kostunica may have to subordinate Serbian feelings of resentment against Western intervention in order to completely end Yugoslavia's pariah status. As long as he refuses to extradite Milosevic and other accused criminals for trial, the stain of their crimes will persist on the new government.

Published by Liberty Newspapers Limited Partnership

Rupert E. Phillips, CEO

John M. Flanagan, Editor & Publisher

David Shapiro, Managing Editor

Diane Yukihiro Chang, Senior Editor & Editorial Page Editor

Frank Bridgewater & Michael Rovner, Assistant Managing Editors

A.A. Smyser, Contributing Editor

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