On 19 September 2004, the regular election of councilors of the municipal and city assemblies and, for the first time ever, presidents of municipalities and city mayors (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac) was conducted in Serbia. Municipal and city councillors were elected by the proportional system and the city mayors and presidents of municipalities were elected by the majority, two-round system. In Niš, besides the city assembly councillors and the city mayor, the citizens of its five municipalities elected directly the chairmen of the municipal councils and nine municipal councillors, because according to the City of Niš Statute, assemblies are not to be elected in these municipalities.
In the election of municipal councillors, the best results were scored by the Democrat Party and the Serbian Radical Party, which, by the way, are opposition parties at the Serbian Assembly. However, only one party won the absolute majority of councillor seats, in only one municipality at that (Sulejman Ugljanin Party for Sandžak in the Municipality of Tutin). The number of the lists of candidates that won the councillor seats varied from five to 13, so that as might have been expected, after the constitution of assemblies, power became shared by a large number of parties on average. Consequently, the composition of ruling coalitions is changing in quite a number of municipalities. According to the available information in May 2005, the ruling coalitions in more than two thirds of the total number of municipalities, are made up of four or more parties. The Democrat Party of Serbia is represented in the ruling coalitions in the largest number of municipalities, even though the Democrat Party, Serbian Radical Party and Socialist Party of Serbia stand better than it according to the number of councillor seats and number of municipalities in which it has its councillors.
As for the election of city assembly councillors, the Democrat Party won the largest number of seats in Belgrade, Serbian Radical Party in Novi Sad, Democrat Party and Serbian Renewal Movement Coalition in Niš and Together for Kragujevac Coalition (Serbian Renewal Movement, Socialist Democracy and Popular Democrat Party) in Kragujevac. After the constitution of city assemblies, the Democrat Party withdrew from the ruling coalition in the Niš City Assembly) and joined the opposition, although it had won the larges number of councillor seats at the election (in coalition with the Serbian Renewal Movement).
At the election of municipal councillors in the Niš municipalities (nine in each), the candidates of seven parties were elected in three municipalities and of six in two municipalities.
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The rest of this article deals with the establishment of the assemblies of 158 municipalities and four cities and the composition of the municipal councils in the five municipalities of Niš.
 Elections were not conducted in the municipalities of Kosovo & Metohija, where the UNMIK regulations apply, as well as in the 13 municipalities (Bujanovac, Medveđa, Ub, Ražanj, Despotovac, Leskovac, Alibunar, Ćuprija, Priboj, Kraljevo, Pirot, Ćićevac and Barajevo (a Belgrade municipality) in which pre-term elections were held in 2002 and 2003, pursuant to the standing Local Elections Law (2002). Neither was the president of the Municipality of Preševo elected at these elections, because one was already elected in accordance with the new law. Moreover, there were no elections for presidents of the Belgrade municipalities, who according to the new City Statute are to be elected by councillors, not by citizens directly.
 About the elections held on 19 September 2004, see: Yugoslav Survey, 2004, No. 4.
Prepared by: SURVEY S&M EDITORS
Reviewed by: VLADIMIR GOATI, Senior Scientific Adviser, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade
Translated by: Milutin Dovijanić