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Yugoslavia: Montenegrian President Will Not Run Against Milosevic

Prague, 19 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Montenegro said today that its pro-Western president will not run against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic if an election is called later this year.

In a telephone interview with RFE/RL, Montenegrin Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic said that he believes President Milo Djukanovic intends to keep his office.

"No, absolutely not. He is the president of Montenegro, entrusted by the citizens and he is fulfilling his public mandate, which he has said many times."

The denial comes in the wake of Yugoslav constitutional changes earlier this month, which will allow Milosevic to seek another term and diminishes Montenegro's role in the Yugoslav parliament. Serbian opposition leaders have said that Djukanovic is the best candidate to run against Milosevic.

Montenegrin lawmakers have rejected the amendments and said the tiny republic will not participate in elections. Djukanovic said the constitutional changes are pushing Montenegro to independence.