Court Vetoes Some Yugoslav Election Results

Article excerpt

Yugoslavia's constitutional court last night annulled parts of the contested presidential election in which the opposition claims President Slobodan Milosevic was defeated, reports from Belgrade said.

The statement indicated that the results of other races for parliament and local councils would be considered valid. But it was unclear whether all of the election results had been cancelled.

The announcement came on the eve of a planned mass rally in Belgrade which the opposition hoped would be the final push to force Milosevic to concede defeat to challenger Vojislav Kostunica.

Milosevic's acknowledged Kostunica finished first in a five-candidate field but without a majority needed to avoid a run-off Sunday.

Opposition official Goran Svilanovic said he believed the president's opponents will also not agree to take part in a re-run.

'We have our elected president,' he said 'These are things we can discuss, but my initial reaction is that there can be no bargaining.'

The opposition, challenging the official findings of the Federal Electoral Commission, appealed to Yugoslavia's highest court, calling for the justices to grant them victory in presidential elections.

The court met in emergency session to hear complaints by the 18-party opposition coalition, maintaining that Milosevic's cronies manipulated election results by using a sophisticated software program.

Opposition leaders said they had obtained a copy of the program and would use it to illustrate how the vote was rigged to favour Milosevic's candidacy. …