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Yugoslavia: Serbs Protest Albanian Victory In Presevo

Bujanovac, Yugoslavia; 31 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Serbs in the Presevo Valley town of Bujanovac in southern Serbia say they are planning a second day of demonstrations today to demand that the Albanian victory in the 28 July municipal elections be annulled and new elections organized. Some 500 protesters rallied for hours outside the town hall in Bujanovac yesterday, alleging the vote had been improperly conducted. The protesters honked car horns, waved Serbian flags, and shouted: "Treason, treason" and "Belgrade betrayed us."

Meanwhile in nearby ethnic Albanian communities, revellers celebrated the victory of ethnic Albanian mayoral candidate Nagip Arifi by firing guns into the air. This marks the first time Albanians will have majority rule in Bujanovac since World War II.

The election commission released preliminary results yesterday showing voter turnout was 60 percent and that Arifi won over 55 percent of the votes while the Serbian coalition candidate Novica Manojlovic received nearly 44 percent.

Manojlovic called on the protesters to be calm and show that they are "civilized and law-abiding."