- Title: SERBIAMONTENEGRO: PARTY CANDIDATES VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS
- Date: 28th December 2003
- Summary: (W4) BELGRADE, SERBIAMONTENEGRO (DECEMBER 28, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. WIDE OF TOMISLAV NIKOLIC, ACTING LEADER OF THE SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY (SRS) ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION 0.06 2. VARIOUS OF NIKOLIC CASTING HIS VOTE AND THEN CROSSING HIMSELF 0.31 3. WIDE OF NIKOLIC SURROUNDED BY MEDIA OUTSIDE POLLING STATION 0.37 4. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) NIKOLIC SAYING: "I expect everything to be nice and peaceful today. I expect a convincing victory. I expect that we will form a parliament that Serbia can be proud of and not ashamed of as up till now. And then in January we will have time to discuss about the government, although I am convinced that we will be able to form it ourselves." 0.58 5. SLV NIKOLIC WALKING AWAY 1.05 6. VARIOUS OF MIROLJUB LABUS, FORMER YUGOSLAV DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF G-17 PLUS CASTING HIS VOTE 1.22 7. SLV LABUS WALKING OUT OF POLLING STATION 1.28 8. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) LABUS SAYING: "Yes I do expect not just to win over the Radicals but also to create a stable democratic government." 1.42 9. SLV LABUS WALKING AWAY 1.46 10. VOJISLAV KOSTUNICA, FORMER YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT AND LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF SERBIA (DSS) CASTING HIS VOTE 2.11 11. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) KOSTUNICA SAYING: "I am convinced that the DSS (Democratic Party of Serbia) will have, in both the parliament and the government, a decisive influence and in line with that influence it will assume the responsibility for further essential political changes and reforms in the country." 2.27 12. SLV KOSTUNICA LEAVING 2.34 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 12th January 2004 12:00
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIAMONTENEGRO
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVAETJEPKD96AK9OM3D0P1SXX1T6
- Story Text: Major candidates cast their votes in Serbian
The Radical Party led by firebrand hardliner
Vojislav Seselj from behind bars in The Hague war crimes
tribunal is forecast to win up to a quarter of the vote and
emerge as the biggest party, dealing a blow to Serbias
feuding pro-democracy politicians.
"I expect a convincing victory", said acting Radical
Party head Tomislav Nikolic as he cast his ballot near his
Belgrade home on Sunday (December 28).
Nikolic, nicknamed gravedigger for a previous job
managing a cemetery, said he expected his party to even be
able to form a government, despite surveys showing it won't
win a majority.
The revival of a party still advocating a Greater
Serbia has sparked deep concern in western capitals and
among Balkan neighbours still wary of Belgrade after the
wars of the 1990s.
Further underlining a mood of defiance against the war
crimes court, fellow detainee Milosevic heads the candidate
list of his once-mighty Socialists, who opinion polls say
will pass a five percent voter threshold for entering the
Diplomats and analysts believe the pro-democracy
politicians who united against Milosevic but later split
acrimoniously will still face down rightwing hardliners, as
they are expected to win a majority between them in the
But with deep divisions on main issues, such a
coalition may struggle to push ahead with stalled reforms
needed to attract badly-needed foreign investment and new
elections could become necessary before the four-year
mandate ends, commentators say.
"I expect not only to win over the Radicals but also to
create a stable democratic government," said pro-western
opposition leader Miroljub Labus of the liberal G17 Plus
Like the outgoing centre-left coalition, the new
government is likely to soon face western demands to
co-operate with The Hague or risk losing crucial aid,
especially to arrest and hand over wartime Bosnian Serb
military chief Ratko Mladic.
But a strong Radical Party in opposition demanding that
Belgrade stops sending Serb suspects to the tribunal would
increase pressure on the authorities to stand up to the
Former Yugoslav president and moderate nationalist
Vojislav Kostunica, whose Democratic Party of Serbia is
expected to play a key role in a possible pro-European
coalition, has during the campaign described The Hague as a
possible threat to stability.
However, he and other envoys still expect a
Kostunica-led coalition, possibly including a G17 Plus, to
continue on a pro-reform path aimed at eventual European
Kostunica vowed to push through laws needed to
kick-start an economy mired in poverty, to establish a rule
of law and to speed up integration with the rest of Europe.
"I am convinced that the DSS will have, in both the
parliament and the government, a decisive influence and in
line with that influence it will assume the responsibility
for further essential political changes and reforms in the
country," Kostunica said after casting his vote.
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