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Back in the Day: the game's up for Milosevic

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Back in the Day: the game's up for Milosevic


October 6, 2000. The president of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, publicly concedes defeat to Vojislav Kostunica, his rival in the previous month’s presidential election. It marked the official downfall of the man who had presided over the violent break-up of Yugoslavia, a period during which he was accused by a United Nations tribunal of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Having been president of the Republic of Serbia for two terms since 1989, Milosevic assumed the presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1997. He ran for re-election on September 24, 2000, but came second to Kostunica. The state-run electoral commission claimed that Kostunica had narrowly missed out on the 50 percent vote share needed to avoid a second round run-off with Milosevic, but there were widespread allegations of voting irregularities. Protests followed and on October 5 a mass demonstration took place in Belgrade. Some of the hundreds of thousands of protesters stormed the state television buildings and parliament and after it became apparent the police and army were not going to step in, Milosevic publicly announced he was stepping down the following day.

In 2001 Milosevic was brought to The Hague where he stood trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He died in custody in 2006, before a verdict could be reached.

Also on October 6: Release of the first major feature-length talking film, The Jazz Singer (1927); Chiang Kai-Shek becomes leader of China (1928); Egyptian president Anwar al Sadat is assassinated (1981).

Born on October 6: Le Corbusier (1887), Roland Garros (1888), Richie Benaud (1930), Britt Ekland (1942), Gerry Adams (1948), Ricky Hatton (1978).

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