ESSAYS AND STUDIES
DID VOJISLAV KOŠTUNICA REALLY WON THE 2000 ELECTIONS IN THE FIRST ROUND?
Elections for the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which were held in September 2000 still stand out in their importance and consequences they had on Serbian political scene. Results of these elections are still debated within the scientific and general public. Using publicly available data (official election results) we discuss if the candidate of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), Vojislav Koštunica won the election in the first round of voting. The comparison between official electoral results and results presented by political parties led to the conclusion that the disparity arises only within the total sum of votes for each presidential candidate while the results concur on the level of municipalities and cities. This led to the conclusion that the results published by the Federal Statistical Office represent the general will of the voters. The irregularities and deficiencies of published results were stated and analysed from both legal practice (the final results did not took into account votes from Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija which were discarded while the repeated elections were never held even if this was legally obligatory) and material or logical point of view (exchange of votes between presidential candidates, evident forgeries of votes of conscripts on military service and within voters of Albanian nationality in municipalities of Bujanovac and Preševo in favour of Presidential candidate Slobodan Milošević). The overall extent of irregularities was discussed and it was concluded that their effect could only led to the lowering of percentage of votes for Vojislav Koštunica below the needed 50% + 1 vote out of total number of voters needed for an win in first round of elections. All of the irregularities were different in form, intensity and character which led to the lowering of number of votes for the candidate of DOS or the fictions increase in voter’s turnout. Analysis of total influence on final results showed that data published by Federal Electoral Comity and Federal Office of Statistics (even if it contains mentioned errors) could be considered correct and real. The election of Vojislav Koštunica for President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in first round of voting could be considered legal and legitimate will of voters.