The European Union has welcomed the election of Boris Tadic as President of Serbia. The pro-Western victor has promised to press ahead with Serbia’s efforts to join the bloc, despite differences over the breakaway province of Kosovo.
President Tadic said: “It’s very important that Serbia stands united and that we all together continue to work on improving the standard of living of our citizens.” According to partial results from the State Electoral Commission, his rival Tomislav Nikolic lost with 47.8 percent of votes. He had advocated turning to Russia, instead of the West.
Despite the division in views, the result sparked lively scenes with a jazz band and people dancing in the streets. On Kosovo, Tadic and his opponent are united – neither wants the region to breakaway from Serbia.
But they differed on how the country should react. Though Tadic disagrees with the EU’s support for Kosovo’s wish for independence, he sees membership of the bloc as key to Serbia’s future. And it seemed a majority in Serbia agreed.
Some analysts say the battle over the course Serbia will now take may still cause Boris Tadic’s fragile coalition to collapse.