The former Communists and their hard-line President Slobodan Milosevic led in early election returns Monday in Serbia. Opposition leaders accused them of widespread vote-rigging.
First official results from just five of the republic's 250 voting districts showed Milosevic with more than 66 percent of the overall vote for president. His main challenger, populist Vuk Draskovic, had about 19 percent.Socialists also led the opposition for parliament in the five districts, said Caslav Ignjatovic, chairman of the republic's electoral commission. He estimated turnout at 80 percent.
Officials of the opposition Democratic Party said no firm results were known in Sunday's elections, Serbia's first free multiparty elections since 1938. But they reported indications from around Yugoslavia's largest republic gave an expected lead to Milosevic and his Socialists, the renamed Communists.
The state news agency Tanjug said the Socialists had won nearly 80 of Parliament's 250 seats, according to its unofficial survey of 140 districts.
A victory for Milosevic and his party is thought likely to deepen Yugoslavia's regional strife, which threatens to break the country apart.
Republic-wide elections were also held Sunday in Montenegro, where Communists took an early lead, according to unofficial returns reported by the official news agency Tanjug.