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
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 upvotes from defeated candidates

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 : News Agencies

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