For the majority of the 120,000-or-so ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo, the result of the Serbian Presidential election brought disappointment. At the headquarters of the losing candidate’s party in the divided city of Mitrovica, they spoke of anxiety over the President’s next moves.
The Radical Party leader in Kosovo, Lyubomir Kragovic thanked the two-thirds of voters who cast their ballot for Nikolic. “They sent a clear message to Serbia, Europe and the world that the citizens of Kosovo strongly support what Tomislav Nikolic insisted, that Kosovo must stay part of Serbia.”
Nikolic was deputy prime-minister, when NATO bombed Serbia for two and a half months in 1999 to stop Slobodan Milosevic’s brutal crackdown on Kosovo’s separatists. In Mitrovica’s bars, many of the Serbian population watched the results on TV with a growing sense of gloom.
One Kosovo Serb said: “I have lost everything that I had. I’m a refugee now. I don’t see that the new President will bring about any changes for the better.”
90 per cent or so of Kosovo’s population are ethnic Albanians. They are expected to declare independence unilaterally within the next few weeks.