INTERNATIONAL NEWS
May 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

Voters in Serbia go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president in a run-off with the incumbent Boris Tadic set for a victory over nationalist challenger Tomislav Nikolic.

Surveys just ahead of the election show Tadic, 54, leading with 58 percent, while Nikolic had 42 percent.

Tadic, who brought a once politically and economically isolated Serbia to the doorstep of the European Union, is seeking his third and final five-year mandate which he said would be dedicated to his country's European integration and economic development.

He came just ahead of Nikolic in the May 6 first round of presidential elections, in which the nationalist has accused his rival of "vote fraud".

The claims were dismissed both by Serbia's prosecutor and electoral officials but they have cast a shadow over the polls.

Nikolic, a one-time ally of the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, is a recent convert to the European cause. He has vowed to steer a pro-EU course but also warned he would not let Serbia join the bloc at any cost.

The 60-year-old opposition leader campaigned on populist promises, like a tax hike for the rich to be used to increase pensions and welfare payments.

Tadic pulled ahead from Nikolic after he won an important backing from the Socialists, the third biggest party in the Serbian parliament after legislative polls held two weeks ago.

The new president will have to introduce painful reforms in order to restore economic stability of the country where 24 percent of 7.5 million inhabitants are unemployed, one of the highest jobless rate in Europe.

He is also expected to boost further talks between Belgrade and Pristina aimed at improving relations between Serbia and its breakaway province Kosovo -- a key condition for the country's EU integration.

More than 6.7 million eligible voters will cast their ballot at more than 8,500 polling stations from 7:00 am (0500 GMT) until 8:00 pm.

AFP

YOU'RE MINE


PREVIOUS STORY
Assange 'real chance' of election in Australia: poll
NEXT STORY
One dead, two hurt in northern Italy quake

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Elections office to begin voter educationThe Fijian Elections Office is expected to begin the voter education process soon via advertisements on local television stations.
BUSINESS
2014 for shareholders, says PichlerFiji Airways will consider paying dividends to shareholders from this year depending on their finances at the end of the current financial year
SPORTS
Mata makes Glasgow, London selectionViliame Mata has forced his way back into the Vodafone Fiji team to the last leg of the 2013/2014 HSBC Sevens World Series after being named in coach Ben Ryan's travelling team to the Glasgow and London Sevens.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
Sam Smithís debut In The Lonely Hour out in MayBRIT and BBC Sound Poll winner Sam Smithís debut album In The Lonely Hour is out on May 23.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS