Serbia votes today in a general election that is asking its people to choose between never abandoning Kosovo and rejecting the EU, or stepping towards EU membership and accepting change in Kosovo. The two main parties were running neck and neck going into the poll.
The hardline nationalist Radical Party’s Tomislav Nikolic says eight years of bowing to Brussels and free market economics have brought Serbs nothing but poverty, humiliation, and the loss of territory. Nikolic prefers closer ties with Moscow.
The Democrats, led by President Boris Tadic, say joining the EU is the only way to attract
much-needed investment, create jobs and raise living standards. They have tried to combine firm opposition to Kosovo’s secession with nurturing links with Brussels.
As neither party looks like getting a big enough majority to govern alone outgoing Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is likely to play a key role in shaping the next government. He has moved closer to the Radicals’ position over Kosovo and is unlikely to renew his alliance with the Democrats, whom he accuses of selling out to the EU. It was his resignation that collapsed the government. Minority Serbs in Kosovo are also registered to vote.