23rd Oct 2016

Pro-EU Serb leader fails to get clear victory

  • Tadic in Brussels - Serbia's presidential election heads to a run-off on 20 May (Photo:

Preliminary results in Serbia's presidential election indicate the two leading contenders will face a run-off on 20 May as neither managed to secure a clear majority over the weekend.

With around 25 percent of votes counted, the Serbian electoral commission said on Sunday (6 May) that pro-Western President Boris Tadic took 26.7 percent of the vote, while populist-nationalist candidate Tomislav Nikolic won 25.5 percent. Final results are due by Thursday.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Less than half the population turned out to vote.

Analysts say high unemployment and other economic problems have led to a growing anti-EU sentiment in the country, which was granted EU candidacy status in March. The country has 24 percent unemployment and monthly salaries averaging at around €400.

Tadic, who has ruled the country for the past eight years, is aiming to push Serbia further towards full EU membership. He was instrumental in the arrest of war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. He has also made pro-EU concessions on Kosovo.

"I expect even more support from citizens [in the run-off] ... because it is in their utmost interest: to lead them into the EU, to bring more investments, more regional cooperation," Tadic said.

Nikolic, is a former ultranationalist ally of war-time leader Slobodan Milosevic.

He once said he would rather see Serbia become a province of Russia than a member of the European Union. He now supports EU membership, but some commentators believe the change in position is a superficial ploy to gain votes.

He also campaigned against corruption and political cronyism and has vowed to improve living conditions.

A parallel parliamentary election indicates Nikolic's Serbian Progressive Party will become the largest in the parliament. It took 23.53 percent in the parliamentary vote, compared with 22.09 percent for Tadic's Democratic Party.

"The party, in [just] three-and-a-half years of existence, has won most of the votes in Serbia," Nikolic said.


Serbia and the convenient spy

The manufactured cold war between Croatia and Serbia has been a convenient distraction from some of Serbia's domestic problems.


EU's Kosovo meddling risks Balkans chaos

The EU and the US are is unfairly pressuring Kosovo to ratify a border deal with Montenegro against the will of the opposition. It could bring trouble to the Western Balkans region.

News in Brief

  1. Canada and Wallonia end talks without Ceta deal
  2. Juncker hopes for Canada accord in 'next few days'
  3. Romania drops opposition to Ceta
  4. Difficulties remain on Ceta deal, says Walloon leader
  5. Brexit could lead to 'some civil unrest' in Northern Ireland
  6. ECB holds rates and continues quantitive easing programme
  7. Support for Danish People's Party drops, poll
  8. Spain's highest court overturns Catalan ban on bullfighting

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  2. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  3. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  4. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  6. EASPDJoin the Trip! 20 Years on the Road. Conference & Photo Exhibition on 19-21 October
  7. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  8. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  9. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  10. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity