Yugoslav Officials Announce Second Round Presidential Poll
Yugoslavia's Federal Electoral Commission announced late Tuesday a second round presidential election will be held, following a first-round tally showing President Slobodan Milosevic trailing opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica.
Serbian state television broadcast a statement by the commission declaring that Milosevic won 40.2 percent of the first-round vote held Sunday, while Kostunica won 48.2 percent.
The results, the first official count of the ballots by the commission since Sunday, were based on a preliminary tally from 10,153 of all 10,500 polling stations.
The commission's decision was immediately slammed as a "huge fraud" by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), which backed Kostunica.
The electoral commission said turnout in the elections was 64.16 percent of Yugoslavia's 7.8 million registered voters.
Kostunica won 2,428,714 votes and Milosevic won 2,026,478 votes, the commission said, adding: "With regard to this data, it can be concluded that the second round of the presidential vote will be held."
The DOS had insisted earlier that Kostunica, its candidate, won the first-round poll with 54.66 percent of the vote, against just 35 percent for Milosevic, based on a count of 97.5 percent of the ballots.
Under Yugoslavia's election system, a second round between the two highest-scoring candidates is called for the presidency if no candidate garners above 50 percent of the vote.
The second round has to take place within two weeks of the first round, in this case, by October 8 -- BELGRADE (AFP)
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