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Kosovo takes back seat to jobs in Serbia election

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Kosovo takes back seat to jobs in Serbia election


It is jobs not Kosovo which are weighing on people’s minds with presidential elections in Serbia coming up on Sunday. Both main candidates – pro-Western incumbent Boris Tadic, seen here, and nationalist Tomislav Nikolic – frequently refer to Kosovo in speeches.

However surveys show it is not the uppermost issue. Employment and living standards are more important. Nikolic, who has a slight lead in opinion polls, is the deputy leader of the Serbian Radicals Party. Its official leader is still on trial at The Hague, accused of war crimes.

Speaking at a campaign rally, Nikolic said Kosovo would remain an integral part of Serbia, despite moves towards independence there.

The first round takes place on Sunday but, according to opinion polls, a second round run-off between is almost inevitable as the seven other candidates are expected to take about a quarter of the vote. Serbian analysts say the country is at a crossroads, with one path leading towards self-isolation and closer ties with Russia and the other towards the European Union.

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