Central Europe Review Balkan Information Exchange
Vol 2, No 33
2 October 2000
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News from Serbia
All the important news
since 24 September 2000

Crna Gora Medija Klub and Eleanor Pritchard

Yugoslav elections

Given the importance of numbers in the Yugoslav Presidential elections, the results as published by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID) and the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) are shown below for comparison.

In order to secure a clear first round victory, a candidate must receive over 50 percent of votes cast. Even if the FEC figures are correct, the allegations of irregularities and the figures attached seem to confirm a clear opposition victory.

The FEC announced a total of 7,848,818 registered voters of which 5,036,478 or 64.16 percent voted.

Election Results
24 September 2000
Miroljub Vidojković 0.80 percent 0.90 percent -
Vojislav Koštunica 48.22 percent 56.87 percent 52.54 percent
Slobodan Milošević 40.23 percent 33.59 percent 35.01 percent
Vojislav Mihajlović 2.59 percent 3.07 percent -
Tomislav Nikolić 5.10 percent 5.57 percent -
Invalid 3 percent - -

For more information on the Federal Election Commission results visit the Yugoslav government website.

CESID results were taken from 3575 polling stations processed and were the most complete results released. For step by step picture as results arrived visit the CESID website.


Vote rigging?

The opposition have accused the regime of stealing 400,000 votes taken from Koštunica and adding 200,000 to Milošević. Zoran Đinđić made the announcement for DOS, adding that if Milošević believed he could play with 600,000 votes he was in the wrong country at the wrong time.

He was reacting to an announcement on state television citing commission figures showing that Milošević had come second in the first round of voting but that his opponent Koštunica had not won the majority needed for an outright victory.

The Federal Election Commission has also released preliminary results of the elections for deputies in the Chamber of Citizens and the Chamber of Republics of the Federal Assembly. They are as follows:

Chamber of Citizens:

- DOS: 59 seats

- SPS-JUL: 44 seats

- SNP: 28 seats

Chamber of Republics:

- SNP: 19 seats

- DOS: 10 seats

- SPS-JUL: 7 seats

- SRS: 2 seats

- SPO: 1 seat

- SNS: 1 seat

The president of the City Election Commission, Sead Spahović, announced that the Democratic Opposition of Serbia has won 96 of the 110 seats in the Belgrade City Assembly and further elections will be held in October for another 11 seats because of irregularities.

Two seats went to the Socialist Party-Yugoslav left coalition and one to the Serbian Radical Party. Sead Spahović added that because the DOS had won an absolute majority, the coalition should take over city authorities within 20 days. Of the eleven seats subject to a new vote, the opposition is expected to win seven and the Left coalition two.


Second round, no second round?

Slobodan Milošević has conceded that he lost the first round, but the Federal Election Commission has announced that a second round must be held on 8 October to confirm the future of the Presidency. The opposition reject this proposal out of hand, stating that Koštunica won a clear first round victory, and referring to him as the President-elect.

Koštunica himself adamantly opposes the possibility of a second round, calling the FEC's announcement "a political fraud" and an "obvious stealing of votes."


Call for civil disobedience

On Thursday a programme of five days of civil disobedience started, with the aim of "showing that we can peacefully replace an usurper from a position that no longer belongs to him." Zoran Đinđić called for continuous demonstrations until Milošević steps down.

Serbia has a recent tradition of civil disobedience, demonstrated clearly in the 88 days of protest held throughout the winter of 1996 until 1997. Then, the focus was on the drowning out of the daily news by noise from public demonstrations, now it lies on the "freezing" of services as both a gesture of intent and dedication to the outside world, and to Milošević.

DOS are also threatening a general strike starting on Monday in an attempt to paralyse the country until the election results are enacted. "The world will see a different Serbia this time," he said, "a Serbia which will begin to defend its dignity right now." He added that Milošević must understand that there were no more calculations and bargains but that he had lost the elections and must go.


Support for Koštunica

The head of the politically influential Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriach Pavle, has called on Vojislav Koštunica to take over the management of the state, its parliament and its municipalities.

A message from the Church Synod appealed for this to take place in a peaceful and dignified manner, "just as the presidential and local elections on September 24 ended in peaceful and dignified manner."

Tony Blair expressed his conviction of a clear victory for Koštunica at the Labour party’s Brighton Conference, in the following way: "I say to Milošević: you lost. Go. Your country and the world has suffered enough from you."

In a thinly veiled threat to Belgrade, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook stressed the West's "continuing and significant military presence" in countries near Yugoslavia, but a spokesman for Blair played down any talk of military action.

On Thursday the European Union said it must be prepared to lift sanctions against Yugoslavia after the opposition candidate beat President Slobodan Milošević in Sunday's elections. In a statement issued in Paris by the EU French presidency, the 15-nation group said it regarded Koštunica as the leader of a new Yugoslavia.

French diplomatic sources said the statement was intended as a strong signal of support to the Yugoslav opposition, and the EU would announce later which of the sanctions it would lift, and when. The statement did not spell out whether sanctions would be lifted if Milošević, who is showing no sign of backing down, remained in power.

The president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Lord Russell Johnson, has congratulated Koštunica on his victory in the Yugoslav presidential elections. "To win at elections is never easy," said Lord Russell Johnson, "and the fact that you have won without basic conditions for fair and free voting makes your victory even more important and significant."

The United States said on Thursday that Milošević should step down after losing the election to Koštunica. President Bill Clinton told reporters he was persuaded by the opposition's documentation that it did win a majority and he joined more junior US officials in saying it was time for Milošević to go. "The case the opposition made, based on their actual numbers, poll place by poll place, was pretty persuasive, especially since it hasn't been refuted by the national commission," Clinton told reporters at the White House.


Milošević losing allies

Milošević's political allies in Montenegro said on Thursday they were not certain whether to stay in coalition with his Socialist Party. "When we have definite results from all the elections, we'll sit down and make a decision about who we will work with in the new parliament," Zoran Žižić, deputy leader of the Montenegrin Socialist People's Party (Reuters). The Montenegrin party holds the balance of power in both houses of the Yugoslav parliament elected on Sunday.

China, Yugoslavia’s closest ally over recent months said on Thursday it hoped Yugoslavia would maintain political stability following the disputed presidential elections. Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said Beijing would respect the will of the people. "We respect the choice of the Yugoslavian people and we hope that Yugoslavia can maintain political stability and achieve economic and social development," he told a news conference.(Reuters)


Police on standby?

A senior Socialist official in Belgrade has told SRNA agency that Serbian police are on standby to prevent mass street protests. The agency quotes its source as saying that on Monday the police were ordered to avoid force at all costs but during the week the order was changed and police commanders were told to intervene without violence to prevent gatherings of citizens.

The Socialist official is quoted as saying that the new orders were intended to prevent protests against the second round of presidential elections which, he said, the regime was determined to hold.

Sources close to the police today confirmed that large numbers of police had been moved to Belgrade from other parts of Serbia in the past three days.


Announcing a first round victory for Koštunica are...

The Serbian Renewal Movement's (led by the ever controversial Vuk Drašković) election headquarters announced on Wednesday that its data confirmed a clear majority for Koštunica in the first round of the presidential election.

Head of the SPO election office, Anđelko Trpković, said that according to information processed so far Koštunica had more than 53percent of the vote, and called on the Federal Election Commission to explain how it had arrived at a result which would require a second round of the election.

Head of the Serbian Radical Party and staunch coalition partner Vojislav Šešelj has deserted Milošević, announcing that he and his party considered Koštunica the legitimate President Of Yugoslavia. This must be a blow for Milošević who is now cut off from the radical element of the population, traditionally a strong base of support at times of crisis.

Crna Gora Medija Klub and Eleanor Pritchard, 30 September 2000

Moving on:


MN News
Radio B2-92
BETA news agency
Nedeljni Telegraf
Yugoslav government


Andrew Stroehlein
Europe vs the

Mel Huang
Lithuanian Climax

Magali Perrault
One Year on in Austria

Wojtek Kość
Polish Elections

Sam Vaknin

Prague protests:
Jan Čulík
Beat the Foreigners

Agentura Tendence

Slavko Živanov
The Serb View

Alexander Fischer
The Eye-witness View

Brian J Požun
The Local View

Dejan Anastasijević
The Opposition View

Natalya Krasnoboka
The Russian View

Andrea Mrozek
The German View

Eleanor Pritchard
The Macedonian View

Catherine Lovatt
The Romanian View

Beth Kampschror
The Bosnian View

Oliver Craske
The UK View

Gusztáv Kosztolányi
The Hungarian View

Brian J Požun
The Slovene View

CER Staff
The Regional View

Martin D Brown
Czech Historical Amnesia

Gusztáv Kosztolányi
Hungarian Oil Scandal

Dusan Djordjevich
Life in Serbia

Andrej Milivojević
Two on Serb Politics

Peter Hames
The Sound of Silents

Andrew J Horton
Explosive Yugoslav Film


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