Nationalist candidate Tomislav Nikolic has won the Serbian presidency, which could hamper his country’s bid to join the European Union. His supporters took to the streets of Belgrade and the Serb-controlled north of Kosovo to celebrate his win. The Center for Free Elections and Democracy, an independent polling group, said the leader of the Serbian Progressive Party won 49.4 per cent of the vote, while pro-European Union incumbent Boris Tadic received 47.4 per cent in Sunday elections. The results are expected to be officially confirmed later on Monday. Meanwhile, in the Serbian capital Belgrade on Sunday night, Nikolic supporters waved Serbian flags and chanted slogans against Tadic. “Serbia will not stray from its European road,” Nikolic insisted Sunday. “This day is a crossroad for Serbia.” Tadic conceded defeat, saying, “I wish Nikolic the best of luck.”
Tadic, who championed Serbia’s bid to become an EU member, had been leading the pre-runoff polls, but Nikolic’s nationalist supporters appeared to have more enthusiasm for casting their ballots. When the official results are announced, Nikolic must name a prime minister, but that task is complicated because of the outcome of the May 6 parliamentary election. Although Nikolic’s party won the most seats, Tadic’s Democrats tentatively agreed on an alliance with Socialists that would give them a majority. Nikolic and his Serbian Progressive Party accused Tadic and his supporters of rigging the ballot in the first round of the presidential poll, in which Tadic came first. The former president’s supporters reject the claim.