Serbia: The Presidential Election

The presidential election in Serbia was held on Jan. 20. The Republic's Electoral Commission (RIK) confirmed that the Serb Radical Party's candidate Tomislav Nikolic beat the other nine candidates. He received 39.4 percent of the votes, followed by Boris Tadic, the current Serbian president and leader of the Democratic Party, who got 35.42 percent.

These two politicians will proceed to the Feb. 3 second round. As for the other candidates who got 5 percent of the votes, they rank as follows: Velimir Ilic (New Serbia) – 7.6 percent, Milutin Mrkonjic (Socialist Party of Serbia) – 5.6 percent, Cedomir Jovanovic (Liberal-Democratic Party) – 5.4 percent.

According to the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID), the Feb. 3 second round will be a tight and extremely interesting race. CESID executive director Zoran Lucic said that Serbia could expect “another referendum” on Feb. 3:

We expect Mrkonjic's votes to go, for the most part, to Nikolic. LDP (Jovanovic) supporters are expected to back Tadic. The big question is who Velimir Ilic's votes will go to. Our research shows that Nikolic will get one for every three Tadic receives. It will be interesting to see what the voters who did not participate in the first round will do – how many will participate and who they will support. The outcome of the election will depend on them.

Serbian bloggers did not miss an opportunity to analyze and comment on this topic. Here is what a couple of them have written.

Belgrade Daily Blic wrote this on Jan. 22:

If the actual Serbian President Boris Tadic wants to get the presidential mandate as per the new Constitution of Serbia, he shall have to negotiate with the [DSS] leader and also the actual Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica who until now has not issued an ‘invoice’ for the support to the [DS] leader in the run-off…

Dusan Maljkovic (B92 blog, Jan 21) offers a tragicomic analysis:

Cedomir Jovanovic doesn't support Boris Tadic (because Tadic's party is the coalition partner of the Democratic Party of Serbia in the Serbian government).

Those who don't support Tadic, automatically support Nikolic. Thus, Cedomir Jovanovic supports Tomislav Nikolic.

Velimir Ilic doesn't support Boris Tadic (he has announced that Tadic is to lose the elections).

Those who don't support Tadic, automatically support Nikolic. Thus, Velimir Ilic supports Tomislav Nikolic.

Milutin Mrkonjic doesn't support Boris Tadic (because Tadic underestimates the Socialist Party of Serbia).

Those who don't support Tadic, automatically support Nikolic. Thus, Milutin Mrkonjic supports Tomislav Nikolic.

Boris Tadic supports [Marija Serifovic, a Eurovision Song Contest winner].

Marija Serifovic supports Tomislav Nikolic.

Thus, Boris Tadic supports Tomislav Nikolic […]

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