- Title: SERBIAMONTENEGRO: CITIZENS OF BELGRADE VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
- Date: 13th June 2004
- Summary: (U4) BELGRADE, SERBIAMONTENEGRO (JUNE 13, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. MV: TOMISLAV NIKOLIC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY (SRS), ARRIVING AT THE POLLING STATION TO CAST HIS BALLOT IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. 0.07 2. CU: OF NIKOLIC'S IDENTITY PAPERS. 0.11 3. HAS: NIKOLIC SIGNING VOTERS REGISTRATION LIST. 0.14 4. MV: NIKOLIC RECEIVING BALLOT PAPER AND HAVING HAND STAMPED. 0.18 5. SCU/TRACK: NIKOLIC. 0.24 6. VARIOUS: NIKOLIC CASTING HIS VOTE. 0.35 7. SCU: SOUNDBITE (Serbian) TOMISLAV NIKOLIC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY (SRS) SAYING: "I expect victory. I would like it to be in the first round, but the way things are now, it is possible that there will be a second round. I am not bothered by that. This will only prolong something that must happen....in 14 days." 0.50 8. LAS: BORIS TADIC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (DS), ARRIVING AT THE POLLING STATION WITH FAMILY. 0.58 9. TRACK: TADIC WALKING INTO ROOM AND RECEIVING BALLOT PAPERS. 1.04 10. VARIOUS: TADIC CASTING HIS VOTE. (3 SHOTS) 1.14 11. SCU: TADIC'S FATHER LJUBA CASTING HIS VOTE. 1.18 12. SCU/ZOOM IN/CU: SOUNDBITE (Serbian) BORIS TADIC, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (DS), SAYING: "These are elections which will, in my opinion, have an exceptional importance for the future of this country. First of all, with regard to basic political trends. On the other hand, the world will watch the results of these elections. We should be part of this world, first of all Europe. We cannot solve our problems by ourselves but we should have faith in our energy and national potential." 1.53 13. VARIOUS: BOGOLJUB KARIC, INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CASTING HIS VOTE. (2 SHOTS) 2.12 14. SCU: SOUNDBITE (Serbian) BOGOLJUB KARIC, INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "Our country as well has a great chance to become part of the European family with my victory today. Serbia has strength and it will win." 2.25 15. VARIOUS: OF PEOPLE VOTING. (5 SHOTS) 3.00 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 28th June 2004 13:00
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIAMONTENEGRO
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVAAZ01LT47QVOEZU8ULY1AMIZ89
- Story Text: Citizens of Serbiamontenegro vote in presidential elections, with
hardline Serbian nationalist expected to take the lead.
A hardline Serbian nationalist mistrusted by the West was expected
to take the lead on Sunday (June 13) in a presidential election that threatens
to bring down the government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.
Tomislav Nikolic, of the ultra-nationalist Radical Party, headed by
imprisoned war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj, was widely tipped to come first
among 15 candidates in the first round of elections, but fail to win outright.
Seselj is currently behind bars in The Hague
Pro-Western politician Boris Tadic, of the Democratic Party, is
expected to follow Nikolic into a second round that would be held on June 27.
Diplomats have warned that a Nikolic victory would send a negative
signal to the West and risk scaring away investors, despite the Radical Party
candidate toning down his hardline rhetoric, and the fact that the powers of
the presidency are limited.
"I want to make friends in the world for Serbia, not
enemies," said Nikolic, nicknamed 'the gravedigger' from his days as a
cemetery manager, after casting his ballot.
If elected, Nikolic is expected to cause trouble for Kostunica's
three-month-old minority coalition as the G17 party has threatened to quit if
the former becomes head of state. The Radicals oppose handing over suspects to
the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, a key condition for closer ties with the
European Union (EU).
Nikolic's party, which also came first in December's parliamentary poll
but failed to get into power, has benefited from widespread
disappointment with the Western-style economic and political reforms pushed
through since Milosevic's overthrow in 2000.
Serbia has been without an elected head of state since President Milan
Milutinovic, also indicted by the war crimes tribunal, stepped down when his
term expired in January 2003. Milutinovic subsequently surrendered to the
Three previous attempts to pick a successor failed because voter
turnout fell short of the required 50 per cent. This rule has since been
Surveys published this week gave Nikolic 29 per cent backing and Tadic
around 23 per cent. Business tycoon Bogoljub Karic was running third, ahead of
Kostunica ally Dragan Marsicanin.
The polls also forecast that Tadic would win against Nikolic in a
run-off, as he was likely to pick up more votes from supporters of defeated
candidates. Tadic heads the party of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic,
assassinated in March last year.
Failure by Marsicanin to enter the second round would be a major
setback for Kostunica, a conservative who helped oust Milosevic but whose
government relies on the parliamentary support of the former strongman's
Voting started at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was due to close at 8 p.m, with
early results expected later on Sunday evening.
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