Hardliner leads Serbia vote

Nationalist Tomislav Nikolic is said to be ahead in presidential vote count.

    A run-off between Boris Tadic, left, and Tomislav Nikolic looks very likely [AFP]

    "This vote is the first half of the match," Tadic said after casting his ballot.

    "The second half, on February 3, will be a chance to once again decide to conquer Europe, a better life, better salaries and pensions, greater security."

    Tadic defeated Nikolic in a run-off in 2004 after his rival topped the poll in the first round.

    Divergent views

    The incumbent president advocates integration into the European Union while Nikolic believes that Serbia should remain close to Russia, which has backed it over Kosovo, and says he favours a neutral stance between East and West.

    Nikolic was an ally of Milosevic and has played on the growing frustration over US and EU backing for Kosovo's independence after the failure of almost two years of  negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina over its future status.

    "We do not want to argue with the European Union," he said on Sunday. "We need the EU, but not at any price."

    Nikolic and his Serbian Radical Party (SRS) have promised tough measures against countries that recognise Kosovo's statehood.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.