Tomislav Nikolić, leader of the Progressive Party, who won the presidential elections in Serbia according to preliminary results, promised that Belgrade wouldn’t swerve from the European path. At his campaign HQ, Nikolić said, “What I promised, I intend to carry out… Serbia won’t swerve from the European path. However, Serbia wants to protect its people in Kosovo and Metohija. These elections were a referendum on who’d lead Serbia into the EU, and who wouldn’t”. In his view, the election passed a vote of “no confidence on the way that Boris Tadić and the Democratic Party dealt with domestic problems”. He placed dealing with the economic crisis, crime, and official corruption high on his list of priorities. Nikolić also announced his intention to resign as head of the Progressive Party, saying, “So that I can be the President of all Serbs. It’s the pinnacle of my political career, and one of the happiest days of my life”.
Ivica Dačić, the leader of the Socialist Party, said that the victory leader of Progressive Party leader Tomislav Nikolić in Sunday’s Serbian presidential election wouldn’t affect the agreement reached earlier between the Democrats and the Socialists to form a parliamentary majority. Dačić made this statement on Sunday evening, after preliminary results from the second round of the presidential election showed that Nikolić had defeated President Boris Tadić. In Dačić’s view, victory in the presidential election wasn’t a requirement for an agreement on a Democratic/Socialist parliamentary coalition. Dačić, who is the current Vice Premier and Minister of Internal Affairs, said that he hasn’t staked a claim to the post of Prime Minister in a future government. He didn’t rule out the possibility of heightened conflict in domestic politics because of the results of the presidential election.
Tadić beat Nikolić in the first round of the presidential election on 6 May by a record low margin of just 10,000 votes. Tadić won 25.31 percent of the votes (989,000) against 25.05 percent for Nikolić (979,000). In the second round, held on 20 May, Nikolić won, attracting 49.3 percent of the voters, according to exit polling conducted by the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID). Tadić got 47.7 percent of the ballots. Nikolić’s coalition, Let’s Get Serbia Moving, led in the parliamentary elections on 6 May, receiving 73 out of 250 seats. Tadić’s coalition, Choice For A Better Life, took second place (67 seats). On 9 May, the Democrats agreed on political cooperation with the Socialists, who received 44 seats. This suggests the formation of a parliamentary majority and a government coalition centred on the union of the Democrats and the Socialists.
21 May 2012 (MSK)