Campaigning in the Serbian general election has ended with two cooling off days before the vote on Sunday.
Facing a strong challenge according to opinion polls is the pro-EU Democratic party led by President Boris Tadic. He is virtually neck and neck with the anti-EU ultranationalists, and the vote is being seen as either opening or slamming the door on early negotiations with Brussels on EU membership, depending on who wins.
The main threat to Tadic comes from Tomislav Nikolic’s Radical party, which insists honour is at stake and that Serbia cannot join an EU that supports an independent Kosovo. He is betting that Serbian’s anger at losing the cherished province will result in them snubbing Brussels. Only one percentage point currently separates the two parties, each with about a third of the vote.
Trailing far behind is outgoing Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s Serbian Democratic party, which is only polling about 12 or 13 percent. But this could be enough to make or break the next government, and while Nikolic says he is happy with him resuming office, Tadic says he will never be prime minister again as Kostunica has “abandoned the European idea”.