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Deadlock seems dead ahead in Yugoslavia's 2 republics

The races for president in the two republics that make up Yugoslavia appeared Monday night to be headed for a deadlock that would force a new election in Serbia and a runoff in Montenegro, according to official results.

With most of Sunday's votes counted, there were no clear winners in either republic.In Serbia - where Vojislav Seselj, an ultranationalist former paramilitary leader, appeared to be defeating Zoran Lilic - the electoral process will start from scratch because the turnout was below 50 percent. New elections to determine who will replace the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, as president of Serbia - the title he held before assuming his current office - will be held in two months, the state election commission announced Monday night.

The election commission reported that Momir Bulatovic, an ally of Milosevic, was leading his opponent, Milo Djukanovic, by about 2,000 votes, with 99.7 percent counted. The presence of six minor candidates prevented either candidate from getting the necessary 50 percent majority. A runoff will be held Oct. 19.

The failure of the candidates from Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party to win office despite the vast state machinery put at their disposal was seen by many as another sign of Milosevic's weakening grip on power.

The grip of the Socialists began to slide a year ago when opposition parties in both Serbia and Montenegro won control of many major cities. And the vote for the presidencies and national Parliaments this fall has furthered the decline of Milosevic's party.

Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian opposition leader, engineered a boycott of the vote, and it appeared Monday night that he had succeeded in invalidating the Serbian presidential runoff, keeping turnout just below 50 percent.