President Slobodan Milosevic and his renamed communists swept toward a resounding victory Tuesday in elections that placed Serbia squarely at odds with the two other leading Yugoslav republics.
The opposition conceded defeat Monday in Yugoslavia's most populous republic as Milosevic took a nearly 4-to-1 lead over Vuk Draskovic, leader of the nationalist Serbian Renewal Movement."Serbia chose Bolshevism and darkness instead of democracy and light," thundered Draskovic, a shaggy-bearded, pro-capitalist novelist who described the campaign as a contest between the forces of good and evil.
"I don't want and I don't belong to that kind of Serbia," he said.
Opposition parties accused the ruling Socialists of vote fraud, and foreign observers said they were concerned that the republic's communist-controlled media may have unfairly influenced the outcome of Sunday's vote.
In the neighboring republic of Montenegro, Yugoslavia's smallest, the Communist Party was also celebrating victory.
By contrast, the nationalist VMRO Party won a plurality over the Communist Party in a third and final round of voting in the poorest southern state of Macedonia. The party, which advocates Macedonia's full sovereignty, won 37 seats and their closest rivals, the reformed Communists won 30 seats in the 120-seat parliament, according to final results made public Tuesday.
The future shape of Macedonia's government is still unclear.
Milosevic's victory in Serbia threatened to deepen rifts between it and the Western-minded republics of Croatia and Slovenia, which ousted communists from power in elections this spring.
The Croats and Slovenes want to transform Yugoslavia into a loose confederation from what they claim is a Serbian-dominated federation.
Milosevic has slapped duties on Slovenian and Croatian goods in reprisal for their steps toward independence.
If Croatia secedes, Milosevic says, he will expand Serbia's borders to protect about 500,000 ethnic Serbs living there.