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Right-wing nationalists want to form Serbia's new government

Right-wing nationalists want to form Serbia's new government

Serbia's ultranationalist Radical Party, which once ruled with former president Slobodan Milosevic, wants to form a new government after having garnered the most votes in recent parliamentary elections, a party leader said Thursday.
The Radicals' vice president Aleksandar Vucic urged the country's President, Boris Tadic, to officially entrust the Radicals to chose a prime minister-designate, who would form a Cabinet.
"The Radical Party should head a new government," Vucic said, although his group failed to win an outright majority in the Jan. 21 elections. He did not elaborate on a possible alliance his group might try to forge to secure a parliamentary majority needed for a stable government.
The new government, however, will likely be jointly formed by less hardline parties, which finished second, third and fourth in the race for the 250-seat parliament. These include Tadic's pro-Western Democrats, the conservative Popular Coalition of outgoing Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, and the liberal G17 Plus party.
Negotiations on forming a new Cabinet are to begin after the State Election Commission confirms later Thursday the official results, according to which the Radicals won 81 seats, the Democrats clinched 65, Kostunica 47, and the G17 Plus won 19, while the remainder went to smaller groups.
Kostunica, a moderate nationalist, has not ruled out any post-election pact. If he aligns himself with the Radicals, all reform-minded and pro-European parties would end up powerless with Serbia possibly falling back into international isolation.
An immediate challenge awaiting a new government is the U.N. plan on the future status of the southern province of Kosovo, the breakaway region populated mainly by separatist ethnic Albanians.
The province has been a U.N. and NATO protectorate since the 1998-99 war there between Serb troop and Kosovo Albanian rebels. U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari has drafted a plan which will be presented to Western powers and Russia on Friday, in Vienna, Austria.
Ahtisaari's solution for Kosovo could open the way for Kosovo's independence _ albeit under international supervision _ while Belgrade has offered only broad autonomy for the province and rejects a redrawing of borders.


Updated : 2021-04-17 11:24 GMT+08:00