BBC
Milosevic announces election date

Thursday, 27 July, 2000


Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has called presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 September.
The polls will represent a major test of his strength following last year's Nato bombing campaign.
Most opposition parties have said they will participate in the vote, despite recent changes in the constitution that appear to favour the regime.
The announcement ends weeks of speculation about when voting will take place and what kind of elections will be held.
The state news agency, Tanjug, said municipal elections would take place on the same day in Serbia - the dominant republic in the Yugoslav federation, which also includes Montenegro.
The opposition has already indicated that it will take part in the municipal elections, and work is under way to draw up a list of joint candidates.

Controversial contest
But the vote for the Yugoslav presidency and the federal parliamentary elections are much more controversial.
On Monday, Yugoslavia's federal parliament approved legislation allowing the president to run for two more four-year terms after his current one expires in July 2001.
The opposition says the legislation is designed to prolong President Milosevic's stay in power.
The leadership of the smaller Yugoslav republic of Montenegro and the largest Serbian opposition party have already said they will boycott the federal elections. But other opposition parties have been arguing that they should participate, since to boycott would be to hand Mr Milosevic victory on a plate.
For its part, the international community has criticised the changes to the constitution and has said it will not recognise the outcome of any election.



Original article