International

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Democratic Party Declares Victory in Serbia

May 13, 2008 03:09 PM
by Cara McDonough
As the pro-Western coalition celebrates, its nationalist rivals challenge the victory by vowing to join with other parties to form a government.

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President Boris Tadic, leader of the moderate Democratic Party, which supports Serbia's integration into the European Union, is claiming a lead of nearly 10 percent over the far-right Radical Party and its leader Tomislav Nikolic.

The surprise victory, “was enthusiastically welcomed by Serbian liberals and the European Union as evidence that Serbs had chosen economic prosperity and political liberalism over the virulent nationalism of the past,” reports the International Herald Tribune.

However, it remains unclear whether Tadic’s party has gained enough seats in Serbia’s 250-seat parliament to form a coalition government. As a result, Nikolic is calling on other parties to join him in forming a coalition against the Democratic Party.

"Certain political forces who wanted to return Serbia to the '90s are calculating now how to do it regardless of the people's will." Tadic said. "I am warning them not to do that."

Still, the victory is a major shift for Serbia, especially with Kosovo’s recent independence.

The surprising election results come as the political climate in Europe appears to be changing in a variety of ways.

In Italy, for instance, President Silvio Berlusconi’s return, and the election of Rome’s first far-right mayor since World War II, may signal a national shift to the right.

Amir Taheri
of the New York Post suggests that Italy’s move is representative of a larger, Europe-wide conservative trend that has France and Italy as its forerunners.

Headline Links: Democratic victory challenged by Radical Party

Reactions: The celebration and the challenges

Related Topics: Italy’s shift to the right

Background: Kosovo and the call for new elections

Key Players: Boris Tadic and Tomislav Nikolic

Boris Tadic
Tomislav Nikolic
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