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Yugoslav Constitutional Court Rules Presidential Results Null, Orders New ElectionAired October 4, 2000 - 3:53 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I am Joie Chen from CNN Center in Atlanta. We are breaking into our normal programing in "TALKBACK LIVE" to bring you late developments from Belgrade, Yugoslavia into the illegal challenge to the results of the hotly contested presidential race there, amid the opposition efforts, of course, to force President Slobodan Milosevic from office.
CNN's Belgrade bureau chief Alessio Vinci is standing by now with the latest developments there -- Alessio.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF: Joie, according to the state run news agency, Tanjug here Belgrade, the constitutional court has ruled that part of the elections, referring to the presidential election that was -- that took place here on September 24 must be repeated.
Again Tanjug reporting that the presidential election that place on September 24 must be repeated. They are not giving any reason why this election must be repeated. But they are simply saying, according to a Tanjug news statement, that this election has to be repeated again.
What this means, basically, that the new federal parliament, which was voted at the same time on September 24, will have to convene in the next few days, or perhaps later on, and will have to choose to come up with a new date for the presidential election. Now, a reminder, the federal parliament at this time is still controlled by loyalists of President Milosevic, thanks to a boycott of the elections in Montenegro.
The party supporting President Milosevic won a majority of the seats in both chambers of the federal parliament, which means that, basically, now it is up to a body which is controlled by President Milosevic to decide if and when that presidential election will have to be repeated. Again, according to the state news agency, Tanjug, the presidential election, which took place on September 24 will have to be repeated.
Back to you, Joie.
CHEN: Alessio, let's clarify here. There is some form of appeal. But the appeal would be through a system that is also run by loyalists of Mr. Milosevic, is that right? VINCI: That is correct. The Federal Election Commission has issued its final results a couple of days ago. Those results were first challenged by the opposition here. The Federal Election Commission refused to take up those challenges, refused to say -- to change its stance. And therefore, the opposition this morning brought the issue to the Federal constitutional court.
The constitutional court met this morning for a few hours, as we understand it, in an emergency session. And they, in theory, 48 hours to give that ruling. However, tonight, we learned from the Tanjug news agency that the constitutional court, which is a body -- according to the body, which is mainly controlled by President Milosevic here, has ruled that the presidential election, without giving any reason, must be repeated.
Therefore, it is a decision that is taken by a body which is controlled by Mr. Milosevic. Back to you, Joie.
CHEN: CNN Belgrade bureau chief Alessio Vinci, reporting to us again.
We're continuing to follow up on this developing story: a ruling from a constitutional court in Belgrade, Yugoslavia that effectively is going to force new elections for the presidential race, one that has been hotly contested.
CNN will continue to follow this developing story, and bring you updates as they become necessary.
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