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Serbia: Opposition Demanding Election Results

Nis, Yugoslavia; 20 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Opposition members in Serbia are continuing to await delayed official results from last weekend's municipal elections. The results were supposed to have been released yesterday.

About 20,000 people took to the streets of Nis, Serbia's second biggest city, last night to accuse President Slobodan Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party of tampering with the results and refusing to concede defeat. Police cordoned off the Nis city hall but did not intervene after a crowd destroyed a bakery. Opposition demonstrations were also reported in other big towns throughout Serbia.

The opposition coalition, Zajedno (Together), says it won last Sunday's vote in Nis, the capital Belgrade, and 42 other cities in Serbia. But only the coalition's victory in Belgrade has so far been confirmed by officials.

Reuters news agency said Socialist-controlled election commissions cancelled election results in the towns of Smederevska, Palanka, Jagodina, Pancevo and Uzice, and set new elections in those areas for November 27. In Novi Sad, officials promised that results would be available today. The opposition has claimed victory in some of these towns.

Milosevic's pro-Communist leftist coalition has so far claimed victory in 134 districts. Zajedno has claimed victory in 44 districts, up from four districts that it controlled before Sunday's vote. Correspondents say the opposition's apparent showing is a significant blow to Milosevic's domination of municipal councils. The Milosevic-led coaltion was victorious in rump Yugoslavia's federal elections two weeks ago.