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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 Friday. The State Election Commission released official results Thursday evening: the Radicals won 81 seats, the Democrats clinched 64, the Kostunica-led coalition 47, and the G17 Plus won 19, while the remainder went to smaller groups and to representatives of ethnic minorities.
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 : 2021-05-18 10:09 GMT+08:00