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Yugoslavia: Kostunica, Labus To Vie For Presidency

Belgrade, 30 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Vojislav Kostunica (pictured) and Miroljub Labus appear headed for a runoff vote to become the next president of Serbia, the larger of Yugoslavia's two remaining republics. Unofficial projections from yesterday's first-round poll show Kostunica, the current Yugoslav president, winning about 31 percent, while Labus, the current Yugoslav deputy prime minister, had about 28 percent.

Kostunica, a moderate nationalist, and Labus, an economist who favors the quick adoption of free-market policies, are expected to face each other in the runoff on 13 October.

Unofficial projections released by an independent monitoring group, the Center for Free Elections and Democracy, had ultranationalist politician Vojislav Seselj in third place with about 22 percent.

Official results are expected to be made available later today.

Voter turnout in yesterday's poll was estimated at 55 percent.

The presidential vote was the first in Serbia since the ouster of former leader Slobodan Milosevic two years ago.