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Yugoslavia: Milosevic Orders Preparations For Runoff Election

Belgrade, 28 September 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic confirmed today he will take part in a presidential run-off, ignoring calls from home and abroad to recognize an apparent first round defeat and step down. The state-run Tanjug news agency reports that Milosevic met today with the top leadership of his Socialist Party and ordered it to start preparing for the "immediate tasks" ahead of the October 8 run-off. Opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica claims to have won the required absolute majority in the presidential ballot of Sunday's federal elections. Opposition supporters say they will appeal to the electoral commission over its decision to call a presidential run-off. They also say they will launch widespread protests, calling people to the streets until Milosevic steps down. A rally last night in Belgrade drew a crowd of some 200,000.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic said today the tiny Yugoslav republic supports Kostunica as the winner of the vote.

Serbia's Orthodox Church also came out in support of him, branding him Yugoslavia's rightfully "elected president."

The Socialist Party today claimed an absolute majority in the parliamentary vote of Sunday's federal elections.