Elections Today

Update: From the B92 web site, the live results page from 1:00 AM. There will be another election between Tadic and Nikolic, both who got around 25% of the vote. I’ll be curious to see what percentage of eligible citizens voted. There were no surprises. In the parliament elections, Nikolic’s party has a slight advantage with 73 seats to Tadic’s 68. There will be a long negotiation to form coalitions to get a majority. I can’t remember what the “magic number” of seats is to form a government.

Predsednički izbori – Tadić i Nikolić u drugom krugu (82,9% pregledanih, 61,14% izlaznost): Stanković: 6.6%, Glišić: 2.7%, Tadić: 25.4%, Koštunica: 7.2%, Dragišić: 1.7%, J. Šešelj: 3.9%, Zukorlić: 1.3%, Grujičić: 0.7%, Dačić: 14.2%, Jovanović: 5.2%, Pastor: 1.7%, Nikolić: 25.2%,

Parlamentarni izbori – SNS ispred DS (78,8% obrađenih, 61,08% izlaznost): SNS: 73 (24.1%), DS: 68 (22.4%), SPS: 44 (14.4%), DSS: 21 (6.9%), LDP: 20 (6.6%), URS: 16 (5.3%), SVM: 5 (1.9%), SDA: 1 (0.6%), Sve zajedno: 1 (0.5%), NOPO: 1 (0.6%)

by B92 12:43 AM

Below is a nice article from The Economist about today’s elections. I am predicting that there will be no clear winner and the top two, Tadic and Nikolic will be running against each other. With my Serbian friends, as the article says, they are not happy with how things are going here, but they don’t think Nikolic is the answer. It should be interesting, especially if there is heavy voter turnout.

Serbia’s elections Cliffhangers The outcomes of Serbia’s many elections on May 6th are unpredictable

ON MAY 6th the French vote for a president and the Greeks and Armenians for parliaments. For Serbs it is the big bang: they will vote for a president, a parliament, in local elections and, in the province of Vojvodina, for a regional assembly. In Kosovo too, many Serbs may vote, but this is contentious and could lead to violence.

Kosovo aside, the Serbian elections are a cliffhanger. Polls give President Boris Tadic of the Democratic Party (DS) just under 36% and Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), just over 36%. A run-off between the two a fortnight later is likely, and the result will be influenced by the parliamentary election. Mr Tadic sells himself as pro-European and pro-reform. But he looks tired and the economy is in dire straits. One poll finds 80% of Serbs are dissatisfied and angry, 77% feel helpless and hopeless and 60% are just depressed. The latest score for the SNS and its allies is 33.5%, with the DS and its allies trailing on 28.3%. Yet it may be easier for the DS than for the SNS to find other coalition partners.

The kingmaker is likely to be Ivica Dacic, leader of the Socialist Party, which with its allies is polling at 11.8%. Mr Dacic is the artful dodger of Serbian politics. In the war years he was a spokesman for Slobodan Milosevic. When Mr Milosevic fell in 2000 and was put on trial for war crimes, Mr Dacic stepped in to save the party. Now he is interior minister and a master of populist bluster. When Serbs were arrested in Kosovo, some with election materials, he arrested some Kosovo Albanians, boasting that this was a reciprocal measure. Mr Dacic is likely to stick with the DS, but he could choose to switch horses to the SNS if they make him a better offer (such as the premiership). The SNS was started in 2008 when Mr Nikolic and Aleksandar Vucic led their followers out of the extreme nationalist Radical Party, whose leader is also on trial for war crimes.

Any new government will have a hard time.Unemployment is 24% and as much as 40% of output is in the black economy. In February, because many workers went unpaid, more Serbs got pensions than salaries. Yet foreign companies are still investing in Serbia, not least Fiat, an Italian car maker that just opened a €1 billion ($1.3 billion) factory. With little time left, it is still uncertain what will happen in Kosovo. The Serbian authorities have stepped back from trying to organise local elections for Serbs there, though two municipalities in the Serb-controlled north may still hold them. If Serbia chooses to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in the north there is little the Kosovo government can do. But if it tries to hold them in the south, where most of Kosovo’s Serbs live, there could be bloodshed. One solution may be for both sides to accept a figleaf of cover for elections from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. But NATO is taking no chances, deploying 700 more peacekeepers to deter violence. Until Serbia has a new government the European Union-sponsored dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will remain in abeyance. Edita Tahiri, Kosovo’s chief negotiator, says she is not worried if there is a change in government in Belgrade. The talks will resume and Serbia will have to carry on making compromises, just as Kosovo does, because they have “no choice but to continue being pro-European.”

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