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Reformist, Radical Parties Battle In Serbian Elections

Prime Minister Kostunica's party finished third in Belgrade Belgrade, 19 September 2004 -- Preliminary results announced shortly after voting ended in Serbian local elections say that a pro-western candidate will face an extreme nationalist in a run-off election for the Belgrade mayor post.

The candidate of the Democratic Party, incumbent Mayor Nenad Bogdanovic, collected 33.1 percent of the votes, while nationalist Aleksandar Vucic, of the Serbian Radical Party, garnered 29.2 percent. Voter turnout was under 35 percent in the capital.

The candidate of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia came in third with 14.7 percent. Kostunica's partners in his minority government coalition jointly collected less than 4 percent.

The results, announced by the independent election monitoring organization, were based on a count of around half of the votes from a representative sample.

The figures for local parliaments in nearly 150 Serbian municipalities are expected later.

(RFE/RL, AP, dpa)