Nando Times
YU parliament approves changes that could prolong Milosevic's rule

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (July 6, 2000) - Yugoslavia's parliament approved constitutional changes Thursday that pave the way for President Slobodan Milosevic to seek re-election when his term expires next year.

Both chambers of the Yugoslav parliament approved the plan calling for the president to be elected by popular vote, rather than by the assembly, as was the case when Milosevic was appointed in 1997. The lower chamber passed the plan 95-7, while the vote in the upper chamber was 27-0.

The move gives Milosevic a chance to run for the presidency again when his current term expires next July. Previously, a president elected by the parliament was not allowed a second term.

Milosevic's allies argued that direct election would confer "the greatest possible democratic legitimacy" to the institution of the president.



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