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Uneasy silence over election results

BELGRADE, Monday -- Yugoslavia's Federal Election Commission has still not made any official statement on yesterday's elections. The commission told media at about 3.00 a.m. today that no further counting would be done during the night but that there would be a press conference this morning. By 5.00 p.m. today there was still no further announcement from the commission.

The secretary-general of the Socialist party, Gorica Gajevic, this afternoon claimed that with 37 per cent of votes counted, incumbent president Slobodan Milosevic was in the lead with 45 per cent to opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica's 41. This, said Gajevic, meant that Milosevic would either win outright in the first round or go to a run-off election against Kostunica.

Gajevic's statement flies in the face of clear indications that the opposition has scored a remarkable victory in all three elections held yesterday. With about fifty per cent of the vote processed, most party election centres say that opposition presidential candidate has up to twice as many votes as incumbent president Slobodan Milosevic in most election centres.

At the same press conference, Federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic said that the Socialist People's Party of Montenegro was satisfied with the election results and would be part of a coalition government with Serbia's Left coalition in the Federal Parliament.

The Vojvodina Provincial Election Commission and a local election commission in Novi Sad this afternoon both declined to give any election results or voter turnout figures for the province. A commission spokesman told Beta that nothing was known yet and that the commission members for waiting for the chairman to arrive. In the Novi Sad commission, Beta was told that nobody knew when a press conference would be held and that nobody was authorised to make a statement.

Source: B92

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