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Opposition stands firm: no second round

BELGRADE, Thursday -- There will be no second round of the presidential elections, Democratic Opposition representative Vladan Batic said today after last night's decision by the Federal Election Commission. Batic told Radio B2-92 that the regime was responding with violence which had no legal foundation to the opposition's warnings. "This is a forgery of the electoral will of the people," said Batic adding that there could be no acceptance of a second round because, despite the elections having been unfair and undemocratic, the opposition had gone to the polls and had won. "There can be no bargaining with these things because we are not at a cattle market but in history," he said.

Belgrade daily Danas reports today that the Federal Election Commission's legal consultant, Bojan Pudar has resigned. The paper quotes sources close to the Commission as saying that Pudar, who is also deputy secretary of the commission, had resigned because of the Commission's work and the election results.

The Democratic Opposition's campaign manager, Zoran Djindjic, today described the Federal Election Commission as a bunch of criminals. Djindjic told Radio 021 that the opposition would call the people into the streets to defend their choice of president.

The coalition has called rallies for tonight in several large Serbia cities. The rallies, which will continue to celebrate the coalition's victory, will take place in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Leskovac and Bor.

Meanwhile the Democratic Opposition of Serbia has continued to make plans for the period following its victory. Podgorica daily Vijesti writes today that the coalition will offer the position of federal prime minister to the vice-president of the Socialist People's Party of Montenegro, Predrag Bulatovic or the vice-president of the Montenegrin Privatisation Council, Veselin Vukotic. Democratic Opposition spokesman Cedomir Jovanovic told a press conference yesterday that the coalition had been in contact with a faction of the Belgrade-loyal Socialist People's Party. This faction, he said, consisted of party officials who worked and lived in Montenegro and were not merely political ornament's to Slobodan Milosevic's self-will. Vijesti added that after Milosevic's departure, the party's leader, Federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic "wouldn't exactly be in the Federation Palace office".

Source: B92

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