Serbia’s pro-Western President Boris Tadic achieved a narrow victory over the nationalist Tomislav Nikolic in the country’s Presidential elections – undoubtedly one of the most important ballots in Serbia’s history. According to the state electoral commission, Democratic Party leader and now president of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic, won 50.57% of the vote against the 47.71% of Tomislav Nikolic’s Radical Party. The particularly high voter turnout – which reached almost 70% – demonstrates the seriousness and responsible attitudes of Serbian citizens, while giving high credibility to the elections.
“Through these elections, Serbian citizens have decided their future – a future in the European Union” declared Samuele Pii, President of JEF Europe. “This historical vote has given legitimacy to European integration in Serbia, and in turn, it will open the door to all citizens of the Balkan region” Pii continued.
A key element of each candidate’s campaign was the position towards Kosovo as well as their position on Europe. While both presidential candidates opposed the split of Kosovo, Nikolic took a radical stand, favoring closer ties with Russia (which so far has defended Serbian opposition to Kosovo’s independence) over those with Europe. Tadic on the other hand came across as a liberal pro-European.
JEF Europe applauds the many young voters who campaigned for democratic change in the region. “Although the process for full Serbian membership is not yet accomplished, the country is now politically closer than ever to EU membership. This is also merit of the efforts of young people who supported this prospective” Andjelija Arandjelovic Vice President of JEF Serbia concluded.