Serb nationalists call for protests over vote

May 12, 2012, 2:41 PM

Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbian nationalists on Saturday called for nationwide street protests over alleged election fraud, fueling tensions before a presidential runoff vote.

Nationalist leader Tomislav Nikolic said the Serbian Progressive Party will start peaceful protests as of Sunday because “we don’t recognize” parliamentary and local election results held last weekend.

Nikolic will face pro-European Union candidate and incumbent President Boris Tadic in a runoff presidential election on May 20. Tadic led Nikolic by half a percentage point in the first round, and is considered a favorite in the runoff.

Nikolic has accused Tadic’s Democrats of rigging the general elections by printing extra ballots and tampering with voting lists. Tadic rejected the claims, saying Saturday that the call for street protests “is a call to destabilize the country.”

Nikolic said he will decide Saturday whether to take part in the runoff after he listens “to the peoples’ voice.” He said he doubted that Tadic even received enough votes among 12 candidates to qualify for the runoff.

Election experts said Nikolic cannot legally withdraw from the race between the two rounds, and his name will remain on the ballot.

“Even if he (Nikolic) withdraws, voters will have the opportunity to give him the support,” said Marko Blagojevic, of the independent Cesid vote monitoring group.

The runoff’s result could affect Serbia’s bid to join the EU, a bid led by Tadic. Serbia formally became a candidate for entry in March.

Foreign and domestic election observers have said that last Sunday’s vote was generally free and fair. Serbia’s state electoral commission rejected Nikolic’s call for the repeat of the complete vote, saying the vote was regular.

Nikolic’s populists won the parliamentary ballot, before Tadic’s Democrats. But the third placed Socialists said they would form the next government with the democrats, locking Nikolic’s party out of power.

“Even if I won the presidency, with whom would I cooperate? With the government that rigged the vote?” Nikolic asked.

Authorities said they would investigate Nikolic’s fraud claims.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
24 days ago
(Instagram photo/@Clayton.Wolfe)...
Wills Rice

Arizona realtor announces new listing on ‘the top-floor’ of Mount Everest

Arizona realtor Clayton Wolfe scaled the treacherous 29,035-foot heights of Mount Everest in Nepal and announced a new listing at the summit.
25 days ago
(Photo by: Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle arrested for money laundering charges

“Tiger King” star “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges.
25 days ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Israel for talks with political and business leaders

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders of the Middle Eastern country.
1 month ago
A man rides a bicycle in front of a building ruined by shelling in Borodyanka, on the outskirts of ...
Associated Press

Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order Wednesday to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army. Putin’s decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to […]
1 month ago
Follow @KTAR923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Serb nationalists call for protests over vote