Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

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: ec.europa.eu)

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  2. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  3. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023
  4. Climate groups: G7 leaders 'backsliding' on climate
  5. Ukraine diplomat urges German MEPs to reject EU taxonomy
  6. EU asylum requests were climbing before Ukraine war
  7. Public sector journalists protest Macron tax plan
  8. EU engine ban splits Germany's coalition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting
  2. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  3. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  4. The euro — who's next?
  5. One rubicon after another
  6. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  7. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil
  8. Western public has 'moral' duty to Ukraine, Nato chief says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us