Nationalist opposition leader Tomislav Nikolic has declared victory in Serbia’s presidential election and promised to keep on working for EU membership.
Unofficial projections showed him narrowly beating his centrist rival, the incumbent Boris Tadic.
“The outcome of this election shows – and I will keep my promises – that Serbia will not steer away from the EU path,” said Nikolic to party supporters. “Serbia wants to protect its people in Kosovo and Metohija and this election was not a referendum for or against the EU, but to resolve internal problems that were created by Tadic and the Democratic Party.”
Tadic has served two terms as president and was part of the reformist bloc that ousted the late Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. He is seen by the west as a liberal reformist.
Nikolic on the other hand is a former ultranationalist, last in power when Serbia was bombed by NATO in 1999. On the streets of Belgrade, his supporters welcomed his return.