The following is the full text of the concession speech given by departing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on October 6, 2000, translated by The Associated Press:

Respected citizens, I have just received the official information that Vojislav Kostunica has won the presidential election. The decision was made by the state body which has the constitutional authority to do so and I believe that this decision must be respected.

I would like to thank all those who gave me their trust and voted for me in these elections, but I would also like to thank those who did not vote for me because they took a huge weight off my chest, the burden of responsibility which I have carried for a full 10 years.

As far as my party is concerned, it will be a very strong opposition and I always said that no party can ever show its true strength and its qualities without spending some time in opposition. Time spent in opposition helps a party rid itself of those who joined it for personal gain while it was in power.

I am sure that the times ahead will be very useful, in that respect, for the Socialist Party of Serbia and for the Yugoslav Left. And I am sure they will gain strength to such an extent that they will win convincingly in the next elections.

Because of this great relief and because of the cessation of the great responsibility that I carried for an entire decade, I personally intend to rest a bit and spend some more time with my family and especially with my grandson, Marko, and after that to help my party gain force and contribute to the future prosperity of the country, in the same way (Serbs) did during defence and reconstruction of the country, as well as in the initial steps of development that were so successful.

I congratulate Mr. Kostunica on his electoral victory and I wish much success to all citizens of Yugoslavia during the mandate of the new president.

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