By Bojana Barlovac
After months of weighing the risks of calling early presidential poll, Serbia President Boris Tadic on Wednesday anounced his resignation to enable early presidential elections to be held together with general and local elections in Serbia.
The speaker of Serbia’s parliament is expected to call the vote for May 6. “Now no one can accuse me of holding on to my post,” Tadic said on Wednesday.
Tadic said he was confident of victory. “I will run in the election with optimism because of the positive trends in our country,” he said referring to the recent award of EU candidate status for Serbia.
Fellow members of Tadic’s ruling centrist Democratic Party believe that the EU’s recent decision to give Serbia candidate status on March 1 has boosted his popularity.
In the presidential vote, Tadic’s main challenge will come from the nationalist Tomislav Nikolic, of the Serbian Progressive Party.
According to the latest polls, if presidential elections were held now, Tadic would get 40.9 per cent of the votes while Nikolic would get 33.4 per cent.
Tadic has been President of Serbia since 2004. The mandate of the head of state lasts five years and the same person cannot be elected more than twice.
But Tadic could be elected for a third time because his first mandate does not count, as Serbia’s new constitution was only adopted in 2006.