By Bojana Barlovac
Most parties annnounced their candidates for the president’s post on Wednesday. This came after President Tadic earlier that day announced his resignation to enable early presidential elections to be held together with general and local elections on May 6.
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.
Tadic’s main challenger is the nationalist, Tomislav Nikolic, of the Serbian Progressive Party, who also expressed confidence in victory.
“I hope the presidential election campaign will be fair, and based on programmes instead of being like the parliamentary one so far,” Nikolic said on Wednesday.
The leader of the closest ally of Tadic’s ruling Democrats, Ivica Dacic, of the Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS, said from far-away Moscow that he will run even though he is against the idea of presidential elections being held at the same time as the other polls.
Aleksandar Martinovic, deputy president of the Serbian Radical Party, will stand for the party whose leader, Vojislav Seselj, is still on trial in The Hague.
Cedomir Jovanovic, from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, LDP, will run for of the coalition called “Preokret”. He said that he would “not be overly kind, but honest” in the campaign.
The Democratic Party of Serbia, DSS, and United Regions of Serbia, URS, are yet to announce candidates.
According to the Law on the Election of the President, the vote must be called at least 30 days before the election takes place, which means by April 7 if the vote is to go ahead on May 6.
The mandate of the head of state last five years and the same person cannot be elected more than twice.
Meanwhile, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, the speaker of parliament, is Serbia’s acting President until a new head of state is elected.