Serbia presidential rivals set for run-off vote

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Serbia presidential rivals set for run-off vote

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The rivals for Serbia’s presidency have resumed campaigning for a second round showdown after Sunday’s first round vote put them neck and neck.

Incumbent Boris Tadic and ex-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic also saw their political parties poll similar scores in parliamentary elections this weekend.

Nikolic’s Serbian Progressive Party topped the ballot with around 25 percent, while Tadic’s Democratic Party got around 23 percent.

That was a big drop in support for the Democrats compared to their 38 percent score in 2008. Voters have punished the party for Serbia’s economic woes.

A man in Belgrade, who gave his name as Nebojsa, said that the election meant more of the same.
“Those who had media support, who were in power, stayed in power,” he said.

“We are still waiting to see what will happen in the second round,” said another Belgrade resident, Marija. “But I did expect much better results and a higher turnout, especially from young people.”

Tadic’s Democrats are likely to renew their ruling coalition with the Socialists of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic, who scored well. However the Socialists could equally choose to ally themselves with the election victors, Nikolic’s right-wing party.