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

Wiggle


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
Robber jailed for 12 yearsA man who, with two others, robbed two men of items worth $32,713.50 in Lautoka early 2012 before getting away in a stolen company vehicle worth $89,000 has been sentenced to 12 years in jail by a high court in Lautoka.
BUSINESS
Fiji Airways records $17.2m profitFiji Airways Group has announced an operating profit of $17.2m for the first half-year, from January 1 to June 30.
SPORTS
Sports Council to inspect West facilitiesThe Fiji Sports Council will be visiting all of its western facilities this week with a view to check on the standard of the facilities and plan for maintenance and upgrade systems.
TECHNOLOGY
Only call details given to police in 670 cases: VFVodafone Fiji says it provided call details in 670 cases to police on the production of a search warrant or court order, but does not listen to or record calls, and could not provide such information.
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
5 Seconds of Summer announce Aust, NZ showsHot on the heels of selling out two shows at London’s iconic Wembley Arena, the chart-topping Sydney boys are heading out on the road to play their first-ever headline Australian and New Zealand arena shows, touring in support of their recently released self-titled #1 smash hit debut album.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS