Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Pro-EU Tadic looks for allies after poll victory

Latest update : 2008-05-13

Serbian President Boris Tadic’s pro-European party secured a win in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Yet, as nationalist rivals also claimed they could form a government, the country is bracing for tense negotiations. (Report:C. Moore)

The left-leaning Serb daily Danas hailed a “historic win for European Serbia” on Monday, after the pro-European party led by President Boris Tadic came out on top in Sunday’s parliamentary poll. Yet, falling far short of a majority, Tadic’s Democratic Party (DS) now faces a tough round on the negotiating table to form a coalition government.

While celebrating a “great day for Serbia,” the country’s president appeared well-aware of the challenges ahead. “You go on and celebrate, while I negotiate,” he told his supporters.

A fragile majority in Parliament

At first sight, victory for the pro-European camp is undeniable. With 38.8% of the vote and 103 seats in parliament, the Democratic Party is well ahead of the Radical Party (SRS) led by ultra-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic, who secured 29.2% of votes and 77 seats.

Yet, Nikolic could likely count on the support of former Prime-Minister Vojislav Kostunica, whose nationalist positions were strengthened by Kosovo’s independence. His Serb Democratic Party (DSS) claimed 30 seats with an 11% share of the vote – which leaves Tadic grappling with a wafer-thin majority.

A subtle game of alliances is expected to unfold in the coming days. Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who is also in charge of running the Democratic Party, has already indicated that the pro-European bloc “would hold talks with everyone”. As he put it, “all those who wish to follow us (…) toward a European future for Serbia are most welcome”.

Tadic may rely on the party of the late Milosevic

The President’s bloc can count on support from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the only one so far to have recognised Kosovo’s independence. Its leader Cedomir Jovanovic was close to the slain prime-minister Zoran Djindjic, architect of the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. The LDP picked up approximately 5% of votes. Yet, ironically, the Socialist Party (SPS) of the late Milosevic is best placed to partner with the pro-European camp.

“While its voters are closer to the nationalists, the Socialist Party has more to gain from an alliance with the pro-Europeans,” analyst Slobodan Antonic told the AFP. “Allied with the DS, the Socialist party could act as a force on the left, aiming at greater social justice,” explains Marko Blagojevic of the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID).

The stakes are high for Serbia’s future. While rejection of Kosovo’s independence is common to virtually all parties, the country’s future in Europe remains an open question – all the more since the recent signing of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Belgrade and Brussels, paving the way for a future within the European Union.

Brussels was quick to hail a “clear victory” for Serbia’s pro-European forces following the Democratic Party’s electoral win, suggesting the result should enable the Balkan state “to move ahead on the road to the EU, including with a status of candidate”.

Date created : 2008-05-12

COMMENT(S)