This content is not available in your region

Serbia faces tough talks over new government

Serbia faces tough talks over new government
Text size Aa Aa

Fireworks and cheering marked the apparent triumph of Serbia’s Westward-leaning president, but all sides know they face much hard bargaining before Belgrade unveils a new government. The celebrations were as much in relief as in victory; President Boris Tadic has staked all on these elections and may still lose. A simple majority in the 250-seat parliament will be enough to form a government. Tadic’s bloc finished ahead but needs a partner, and a deal between the nationalists, radicals and socialists could beat him to the finish line.

The European Union welcomed the result, calling for a government with a clear European agenda. But the problem remains Kosovo. Tadic was branded a traitor by some Serbs for his wooing of the EU, many of whose states recognised Kosovo’s independence.

“This is a great victory, but it is not the end,” said President Tadic. “We must form a government immediately. I want to send out this message: Serbia wants to be in the European Union, but we will always peacefully defend the territorial integrity of our country.”