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Yugoslavia: Military Accepts Opposition Candidate

Podgorica, Yugoslavia, 21 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - The head of Yugoslavia's military, General Nebojsa Pavkovic, says the armed forces will accept opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica as head of state if he wins the Yugoslav presidential elections this Sunday. Pavkovic's statement, made on state television in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica yesterday, came as Kostunica held a rally in Belgrade attended by some 150,000 people. Incumbent President Slobodan Milosevic held a rally in New Belgrade attended by a reported 10,000. Earlier in the day, Milosevic made a campaign stop in Montenegro.

Pavkovic said he had never supported any political party. He said, "I only support the president of the state, who is my superior."

As for the vote and the possibility of unrest, Pavkovic said that "we will not provoke any conflict unless someone attacks us from outside."

Last weekend, the independent Beta news agency quoted Pavkovic as saying that his forces would stop any attempt to seize power "from the streets."