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Report: Milosevic, Party Argue

October 21, 2000

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Slobodan Milosevic engaged in a bitter exchange with associates at a meeting of his Socialist Party where their recent election disaster was discussed, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Quoting an unidentified Socialist official present at the closed session, the Belgrade newspaper Glas said ``rebellious″ branches of the party had been demanding changes in the party leadership.

Milosevic, who remains the chairman of the party after his recent ouster as Yugoslav president, reportedly responded ``with many nasty works and insults like `traitors’ and `spies,′ ″ Glas said.

The session was held on Friday in a ``heated atmosphere″ following demands by some party members that Milosevic and top aides step down from their party posts, Glas added.

The Socialist Party is trying to recover from its Sept. 24 electoral defeat to Vojislav Kostunica in the presidential contest. Milosevic claimed Kostunica fell short of a necessary majority and called for a runoff.

But Milosevic conceded defeat following a mass uprising in Belgrade on Oct. 7.