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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Serb Blocs To Share Power

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- The party of Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslavia's most powerful politician, will have to share power for the first time since he took control 10 years ago, according to near-complete Serbian election results announced Tuesday.

With 236 of 250 parliamentary seats counted in Yugoslavia's dominant republic, Milosevic's Socialist bloc had 98 seats and the ultranationalist Radical Party 80. The opposition Serbian Renewal Movement had 45 seats and the remaining 13 were distributed among five small parties, said the Serbian electoral committee.

That gives the Socialists a choice between trying to form a coalition with the nationalistic Radicals or the Renewal Movement, whose moderate, democratically minded leader is a Milosevic critic. Radical leader Vojislav Seselj preaches a "Serbia for Serbs" ideology that eclipses the extreme views the Socialists propagated during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

A Socialist-Radical coalition is possible. Although Milosevic has since moved away from nationalism to placate the outside world and stay in power, both his party and the Radicals have worked together in the past when both thought it politically convenient.

But at a press conference Tuesday, Seselj said he had not decided whether his party would join the Socialists and that any combination of the three main parties was possible -- including a coalition of all. "We are open for negotiations," Seselj said.

Reiterating his fight for a greater Serbia, Seselj said he has not abandoned his plan for expanding Serbia to the west to include "traditionally Serb-populated areas" in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Because of his party's views, Seselj said he expected the Socialists to join with the more moderate party.