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Serbian Voters Punish Ruling Coalition

Kostunica's DSS coalition has reportedly been handed a setback (file photo) 20 September 2004 -- Unofficial results from Serbian local elections yesterday suggest Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's ruling conservative coalition has lost significant power.

Official results from the poll are not expected until later today, but the Center for Independent Elections and Democracy has calculated that candidates endorsed by Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) have come in third in a number of Serbia's 148 municipalities and four major cities.

The election-monitoring organization says Kostunica's candidate for Belgrade mayor came in third behind the incumbent, Nenad Bogdanovic of the Democratic Party, and Aleksandar Vucic of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS).

The election organization says the candidate of the Democratic Party was also in the lead in the race for mayor of Nis, Serbia's second-largest city.

The Center for Independent Elections and Democracy says the Serbian Radical Party and Democratic Party candidates will likely face a runoff for the mayoral post in the third-largest city, Novi Sad.