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Milosevic, nationalists make gains

A woman passes election posters in the Serbian capital Belgrade.
A woman passes election posters in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

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Slobodan Milosevic

BELGRADE, Serbia- Montenegro (CNN) -- Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was projected to win a seat in the country's parliament as Serb nationalist parties made gains in Sunday's elections.

Milosevic is on trial at The Hague, charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Balkans in the 1990s. He maintains his innocence.

Also expected to win a seat is Vojislav Seselj, a former Serb paramilitary commander, whose Radical Party claimed nearly a third of the 250 seats in Serbia's parliament. But like Milosevic, Seselj is also facing a war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Based on exit polls from 600 polling stations, the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID) Sunday night projected that the Serbian Radical Party would win 82 of the 250 seats in parliament; the Democratic Party of Serbia would win 53 seats; the Democratic Party would win 37 seats; G17 would win 34 seats; the SPO - Serbian Renewal Movement would win 23 seats and Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia would win 21 seats.

The margin of error was less than plus-or-minus 0.5 percentage points.

Those results would give democratic reformist parties 147 seats in parliament, while the Serb nationalists would hold 103.

But the support for Milosevic and Seselj, after years of wars that have devastated the region, is seen by some observers as a sign of growing extreme nationalism in Serbia.

Even if they win as expected, Milosevic and Seselj would be unable to serve while in prison. It is unclear what would happen with their parliamentary seats.

Seselj's Radical party supports expanding Serbia's borders at the expense of its neighbors.

Its leader is accused of overseeing the murder of thousands in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, but Seselj has dismissed the charges against him as "fake."

Journalist Slobodan Cagic in Belgrade contributed to this report

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