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Kosovo takes back seat to jobs in Serbia election

Kosovo takes back seat to jobs in Serbia election
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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.