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05 Oct 10

The Bulldozer Revolution

October 5, 2000 marks the so-called Bulldozer Revolution that saw Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic ejected from power. Here is a complete timeline of events which made the revolution:

Bojana Barlovac

September 24

Presidential, local and parliamentary elections for both chambers of the parliament are held in Yugoslavia, then Serbia and Montenegro. Slobodan Milosevic bans international observers from the elections. The vote was largely boycotted by Kosovo Albanians and voters in Montenegro.

September 25 - Opposition claims victory

The opposition coalition DOS headed by Vojislav Kostunica claimed a landslide victory in almost all towns in Serbia. Kostunica claimed nearly 2.5million, (about 55 per cent), putting  Milosevic on 1.8 million.

September 26 - Milosevic Refuses to Concede Defeat

Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS, refused to concede defeat and the regime-controlled Federal Electoral Committee claimed that no candidate had won over 50 per cent of the votes and called for a second ballot between Milosevic and Kostunica.

September 27 - Mass demonstrations

Opposition supporters started peaceful demonstrations with protests ranging from school students' walkouts to strikes demanding Milosevic stand down.

September 29 - Kolubara miners strike

In support of the opposition, miners at the Kolubara coal mine, once loyal to Milosevic, went on strike. Their action had potentially huge political and economic impacts and the government entered into fruitless talks with them in an attempt to resolve the issue.

October 2 - General strike

Milosevic announced that he would not step down until after a second round of elections. Meanwhile, the whole country began to grind to a halt. Transport workers blocked bridges in Belgrade, students took to the streets, strikes paralysed many towns across the country.

October 4 - Police raids Kolubara

Yugoslavia's constitutional court annulled the election results saying that the elections had been held prematurely, and Milosevic should serve out his last year in office and call new elections in 2001.Police raided the Kolubara coal mine. Strike supporters turned up in their thousands broke through police lines and forced them to retreat. Kostunica was welcomed as a hero by the Kolubara strikers.

October 5 - The revolution

The opposition sets a deadline for 3pm local time for Milosevic to step down. People from across the country joined a mass rally in Belgrade called by opposition. Between 500,000 and 1 million people took to the streets. The Yugoslav parliament was set ablaze during the protests. A bulldozer operator called Joe turned his vehicle on the RTS building (colloquially known as TV Bastille), broke through the police and security lines and opposition supporters took over the airwaves, leading to the popular label for the events - the "Bulldozer Revolution". Although the protest was mostly peaceful, two people lost their lives and 65 persons were injured in the riots.

October 6 - Milosevic surrenders

Milosevic meets with opposition leader Kostunica and publicly accepts the defeat.

October 7 - Kostunica Becomes President

Kostunica becomes president of Yugoslavia.

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