Ironically, Milošević lost his grip on power by losing in elections he scheduled prematurely (that is, before the end of his mandate) and that he did not even need to win in order to retain power, which was centered in the parliaments that his party and its associates controlled. In the five-man presidential race held on 24 September 2000, Milošević was defeated in the first round by opposition leader Vojislav Koštunica, who won slightly more than 50% of the vote.
Milošević initially refused to acquiesce, claiming that no one had won a majority. The Yugoslav constitution called for a runoff between the top two candidates in the event that no candidate won more than 50% of the vote. Official results put Koštunica ahead of Milošević but at under 50 percent. The internationally financed CeSID claimed otherwise, though its story changed throughout the two weeks between 24 September and 5 October. This led to mass demonstrations in Belgrade on 5 October, known as the Bulldozer Revolution.
Milošević was forced to accept this when VJ commanders he had expected to support him had indicated that in this instance they would not, and would permit the violent overthrow of the Serbian government. On 6 October, Milošević met with Koštunica and publicly accepted defeat.