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Montenegro: Both Sides Claim Victory In Poll

Podgorica, 12 June 2000 (RFE/RL) - Supporters of Montenegro's pro-Western leadership are claiming victory in municipal elections in the capital city, while backers of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic are saying they have won elections in a town on the coast. No official results have yet been made from yesterday's polls in Montenegro's capital Podgorica and the coastal town of Herzeg Novi, but neither side contradicted claims of the other. The vote is considered a referendum on Montenegro's pro-Western policies since the population of the two cities forms about one-third of the republic's 600,000 people.

Supporters of Montenegro's pro-Western president, Milo Djukanovic, said their poll watchers reported they had won 28 of the 54 municipal posts in the capital city. Followers of Milosevic's ally, Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, said they secured 19 of the 35 seats in Herzeg Novi.

Final results are due later today.