Politics

Europe or isolation – Serbia will be determined in the presidential election

The main rivals in the presidential election in Serbia are already known.

On January 20, presidential elections will be held in Serbia. Nine candidates apply for the post of head of the country, and election forecasts so far indicate that the president will be elected only in the second round.

The atmosphere in Serbia before the presidential election is calm, and the short campaign was the same. Observers note that for the first time the campaign in Serbia was held without mutual heavy accusations against the candidates. Most of the nine presidential aspirants traveled around Serbia and organized colorful American-style rallies. The main struggle unfolded between the current President of Serbia Boris Tadic (he is the leader of the Democratic Party) and the head of the previously ultranationalist Radical Party of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic. In the last presidential election in 2004, Tadic defeated Nikolic in the second round. It is predicted that now there is almost no chance that on January 20 any of the candidates will gain the necessary 50% of the vote.

Srjan Bogosavlyevich, an analyst with the influential Belgrade organization Center for Free Elections and Democracy, believes that a lot depends on the turnout: “If the response is small, it may happen that well-motivated radical supporters will bring their candidate to a much better position than their rivals. In the first round, this is not so important, because a large number of candidates participate – but it is already clear that a second round will be needed, at which Tadic and Nikolic will meet. And in the second round, everything will depend on the activity of voters. ”

The current election campaign is characterized by the fact that almost all the candidates spoke under the slogan “Strong and stable Serbia!” The main theme was the country’s attitude towards European integration in the context of the expected declaration of independence of Kosovo. It is curious that Boris Tadic sometimes quite firmly defended national interests with regard to the Kosovo issue, and until now the radical nationalist Tomislav Nikolic tried to pretend that he was a very “moderate” democrat and that Serbia would go to the European Union with him. Just a couple of months ago, such a transformation of the radicals was unthinkable.

The public in Serbia is confident that on Sunday the country chooses between two paths, one of which leads to isolation, and the other to Europe.

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