State media in Yugoslavia broke into the evening news cast last night to announce that the Federal Election Commission had issued preliminary results of last weekends national elections. According to the report on Radio-Television Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, the opposition candidate, had not secured enough votes to win a first round victory. According to the report, Kostunica won 48% of the votes. In order to have won in the first round, Kostunica would have been required to win more than half of the votes. While it was extraordinary for the state media to concede that Slobodan Milosevic was losing, many observers view this as the regime buying time to figure out exactly what to do about the loss. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia is accusing the Milosevic government of manipulating the vote to force a second round. Kostunica rejected a runoff and he plans a massive rally tonight in downtown Belgrade.
- Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.