Serbia holds presidential elections in line with new Constitution.
Belgrade, Jan 21, 2008 – Yesterday Serbia for the first time chose president in line with the new Serbian Constitution and the Serbian Electoral Committee stated last night that 61.27% of total registered voters voted at the elections, adding that the assessment was made on the basis of processed results from 80.19% polling stations.
A total of 6,708,697 Serbian citizens had the right to vote, as well as 9,178 citizens currently in the obligatory army service, 37,053 citizens living abroad and 8,201 citizens serving prison sentences.
Deputy President of the Serbian electoral Committee Dejan Djurdjevic told the press that the deadline for announcing the final results is 72 hours after elections.
According to the results that have been processed until now, the Serbian Radical Party candidate Tomislav Nikolic won 39.57% or 1,235,327 votes, whereas the Democratic Party candidate Boris Tadic won 35.45% or 1,106,976 votes. These two candidates will go to the runoff on February 3.
Candidate of the New Serbia party Velimir Ilic got 7.45% or 232,715 votes.
The fourth ranked was the candidate of the Socialist Party of Serbia Milutin Mrkonjic with 5.96% or 186,097 votes, whereas the fifth ranked was the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Cedomir Jovanovic with 5.39% or 168,234 votes.
Candidate of the Hungarian Istvan Pastor won 2.58% or 80,564 votes, whereas the candidate of the Serbian Strength Movement Milanka Karic won 0.98% or 30,679 votes. Candidate of the coalition Popular Peasant Party–United Peasant Party Marijan Risticevic won 0.46% or 14,401 votes.
The Reformist Party candidate Jugoslav Dobricanin won 0.3% or 12,366 votes.
A total of 1.88% of ballots was declared invalid.
The following session of the Serbian Electoral Committee was scheduled for today at 2 pm.
The final and official results of the first round must be announced within four days after the closing of polling stations at the latest, that is, by January 24 at 8 pm.
PACE calls for continuation of talks on Kosovo status
Strasbourg, 22.01.2008 – In a resolution adopted today, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) deeply regretted that a mutually-acceptable solution to the status of Kosovo has not yet been found, but said alternative ways should be envisaged to continue talks on the basis of UNSC Resolution 1244.
It called on the UN Security Council to do everything in its power to overcome differences and reach a compromise in order to prevent Kosovo from becoming “a powder-keg and ultimately a frozen conflict in the Balkans”.
The Assembly also said that, among the possible scenarios, it was “not to be excluded” that the Kosovo Assembly would decide to resort to a unilateral declaration of independence. In this case, the EU should “endeavour to achieve a single position” towards such a declaration.
It called on the parties to keep their pledge to preserve peace and dialogue in all circumstances and to refrain from any incitement to violence.
Regardless of what solution is found, the parliamentarians said, Kosovo should be “a multi-ethnic area safe for all those who live in it”, where Council of Europe human rights standards are fully enforced.