Serb nationalist eyes presidency

Serb nationalist Tomislav Nikolic is to face reformer Boris Tadic in a 27 June run-off election after both candidates pooled almost 60% of the vote between them.

    EU is scared of a victory for the Radical Party's Tomislav Nikolic

    According to a preliminary forecast from the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy on Monday, Nikolic received around 30.7% of the vote in the election's first round while Tadic received 27.4%. 
       
    A Radical Party candidate, Nikolic won the most votes despite the fact that his party is led by war-crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj - who is detained in The Hague.

    A Nikolic win in the second round would be a major blow to conservative Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, whose ally Dragan Marsicanin came fourth behind business tycoon Bogoljub Karic. 
      

     
    Voters cautioned

    As people elsewhere in former communist eastern Europe voted for the first time in European Parliament elections, Serbia's choice could influence its chances of catching up with its former communist neighbours and joining the wealthy economic bloc. 
       
    Diplomats have warned that a Nikolic victory in the presidential race would scare off badly needed foreign investors even though he has toned down his rhetoric and would command only limited powers as president. 
       

    Reformer Boris Tadic may pick up
    votes from defeated candidates

    The Radicals oppose handing over suspects to The Hague war-crimes tribunal. But compliance with the UN court is a key condition for closer ties with the EU.
       
    Leading pro-market reformer, Deputy Prime Minister Miroljub Labus, said he would pull his G-17 party out of government if Nikolic won. 
       
    Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic said he expected Serbia "to vote for the path towards Europe and not towards the past and isolation".
       
    Surveys published in the run-up to the election predicted Nikolic would face Tadic in the second round, but Tadic could still pick up more votes from supporters of defeated candidates. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.