Serbian presidential candidates take part in TV duel

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Serbian presidential candidates take part in TV duel

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The two men battling it out for the Serbian presidency have gone head-to-head in a televised debate.

Incumbent Boris Tadic, leader of the Democratic Party, is up against ex-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic in a run-off on Sunday. The first round vote put them neck and neck.

The TV debate became heated when the spotlight was turned on Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Nikolic accused his rival of having contributed to the situation in Kosovo. The rightist Progressive Party candidate said that he would never recognise its independence and would remain Serbian territory.

Tadic agreed that he too would not recognise Kosovo’s declaration of independence. But he was quick to hit back at the claim that he was reponsible in some way for that declaration, describing the accusation as outrageous.

Meanwhile, Nikolic is alleging that half a million votes were forged in the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections earlier this month.

Monitors have not found any evidence to support his claims.

Tadic says his opponent is trying to invent an excuse for his likely loss at the ballot box.