Serbian leaders welcome early polls

( dpa )- Serbian politicians almost unanimously welcomed Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's decision to call early May 11 parliamentary elections, heralding a hard, dirty two-month campaign.

Kostunica on Saturday declared that his cabinet was at its end, after failing to agree a common policy for Kosovo, Serbia's province which declared independence last month.

He said he lost confidence that his coalition partners, President Boris Tadic's Democratic Party (DS) and the reformist G17, were "honestly" trying to keep Kosovo Serbian.

Unlike Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and the ultra- nationalist opposition, DS and G17 want the country to remain on a path leading it to European Union membership despite Western support for Kosovo's independence.

Tadic said he would schedule the polls when Kostunica asks him to do it. If the elections are to be held on May 11, they must be scheduled on Monday, exactly at the 60-day legal deadline.

"I accept the premier's position and will schedule the elections when I get the cabinet's decision to dissolve the parliament," Tadic said.

Tadic however pointed out that DS and G17 also reject the secession of Kosovo, insisting that the split in the cabinet was caused by Kostunica's turn from the goal of winning EU membership.

Joining the EU was declared one of the top priorities of the ruling coalition when it was formed just 10 months ago, along with keeping Kosovo Serbian.

The G17 leader Mladjan Dinkic described the decision to call early polls as " honourable and democratic."

Tomislav Nikolic , head of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) which is the largest in the outgoing parliament and likely to win the most votes again, also said he favoured polls

It had been speculated that Kostunica, who unlike SRS and DS faces deteriorating public support, may turn to Nikolic and the late Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party (SPS) for a new ruling coalition.

Of all parliamentary parties' leaders, only SPS chief Ivica Dacic said that early elections were a bad idea, "leaving the country without institutions" at a bad time.

But his concern may also reflect the fact that SPS would have a hard time to collect the 5 per cent of the votes cast needed to qualify for the next assembly.

The campaign is, yet again, certain to focus on Kosovo, although the province is receding faster with each letter of recognition from a capital.

More than two-dozen nations, including the leading Western powers, established ties with Kosovo over the past three weeks.

Kosovo would dominate despite a host of other burning issues, such as stalled reforms, pressing inflation and unemployment, falling standard of life and threatening isolation.

The nationalist bloc, lined up behind Nikolic and Kostunica, would paint their rivals as traitors willing to sell Kosovo for membership of EU.

The pro-Europeans, with Tadic and Dinkic as leaders, would insist that if it turns away from EU, Serbia would return to isolation and economic decay.

The May 11 elections, now combining parliamentary with municipal polls, would so effectively be a referendum on Serbia's path.

"These are elections for Serbia's European future," the radically pro-European opposition Liberal Democratic Party chief Cedomir Jovanovic said.

However, the vote may actually again fail to provide a clear answer of what it is that Serbia wants, latest surveys indicated.

In early days, pollsters give the nationalist SRS a slight edge over DS with G17, but at the end of the day Kostunica may again, despite support hovering just around 10 per cent, emerge with the keys to a majority.

A month ago, between the two rounds of presidential elections, Tadic had trailed Nikolic , but won his second term in the office in an uncomfortably close run-off. It is questionable however how much of that momentum remained after the Kosovo split.

Azerbaijan confirms 1,259 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan confirms 1,259 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azercell’s Mobile Eye Clinic joins campaign for IDPs initiated by the UN (PHOTO)
Azercell’s Mobile Eye Clinic joins campaign for IDPs initiated by the UN (PHOTO)
Teimur Radjabov defeats Levon Aronian at Skilling Open tournament
Teimur Radjabov defeats Levon Aronian at Skilling Open tournament
Loading Bars
Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament takes part in int’l conference initiated by Turkish parliament, PACE (PHOTO)
Any result that acceptable for Azerbaijan - acceptable for Turkey too, FM says
Volume of paid services in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic down
Azerbaijan shows aerial footage of Shusha city (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan eyeing to develop information system for accounting of oil and gas condensate
Anglo Asian Mining's production of precious metals in Azerbaijan may decrease
Uzbekistan eyes to increase share of renewable energy sources by 2030
Airbus CEO says industry might need until 2025 to reach pre-crisis levels
Parliament's plan to increase subsides - costly for Iranian government
Ukrainian companies enter Uzbek commodity exchange
National Bank of Georgia reveals data on losses of commercial banks
Import of sugar and confectionery by Azerbaijan down
Demand for Turkish electrical goods on Kazakh market grows in 10M2020
Azerbaijan confirms 1,259 more COVID-19 recoveries
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Azerbaijan discloses data on destroyed houses in liberated Fuzuli district
Baku Media Center prepares video covering Armenian vandalism on occupied territories of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Russian president hopes for participation of int’l organizations in Karabakh conflict settlement
Power abuse by major states prevents resolving conflicts - Russian FM
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy electrical products via tender
Turkmenistan offers business opportunities for Switzerland in number of fields
North-South Corridor - on Iran's agenda - Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran
Turkish, Russian military personnel to jointly patrol in Nagorno-Karabakh - Turkish MoD
Azerbaijan shows footage from Abdal, Gulabli villages of Aghdam district (VIDEO)
Egyptian air operator enters Uzbek market
Uzbekistan to introduce changes to electricity payments in 2021
Iran assigns more funds to complete unfinished projects
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of equipment
Azerbaijan’s startup sector expects big investments
Iran's ten-month import of steel from Turkey drops
Tesla set to breach $500 billion in market value
State budget for 2021-2023 approved in Kazakhstan following amendments introduction
Kazakhstan's bitumen output exceeds 2020 plan as maintenance works held country-wide
Port of Baku reveals total 10M2020 cargo shipments
New railway vehicles put into operation in Iran
Iran`s Zarif to visit Moscow and Baku despite postponement
Kazakhstan looking to double renewables share in electricity production
Iran continues to cut reliance on oil revenue
Volume of container transshipment between Kazakh, Azerbaijani ports almost triples
LUKOIL refusing plans to construct giant petrochemical complexes
Iran, Qatar sign an extensive Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation
Switzerland names main trade statistics with Turkmenistan
Dry cargo transshipments through Baku port grow in 10M2020
LUKOIL says reducing oil exports to Europe is inevitable
Georgia receives new buses of modern standards
Georgian hazelnuts exports up
Georgia sees increase in export of tangerines
Ryanair wants to be 'at front of queue' for new 737 MAX order
Azercell’s Mobile Eye Clinic joins campaign for IDPs initiated by the UN (PHOTO)
El Al to launch Tel Aviv - Dubai flights next month
Kazakhstan’s third-quarter economic performance benefits from recovery of oil prices
Azerbaijan informs UNESCO, ISESCO about results of initial monitorings on liberated areas
Turkmenistan’s private sector participates in dev't of poultry farming
Iran discloses plan on creation of new jobs in Yazd Province
Destroyed Armenian positions firing at Azerbaijani army during recent hostilities shown (PHOTOS)
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses data from foreign exchange auction
CBI announces Iran's external debt
Azerbaijan starts to grow bananas - Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture
Azerbaijani servicemen help Armenians to move belongings from villages of Aghdam district (VIDEO)
PAYSIS expanding range of innovative services in Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 24
E-Space reveals volume of EVs registered in Georgia
Azerbaijan discloses volume of tobacco harvested this season
Russian insurance agency to fund Uzbekistan’s hydrocarbon raw materials production
Iran to boost apple production
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
Income of Chinese contractor of infrastructural projects in Georgia up
We were able to get necessary international support in key issue for us - President Aliyev
LUKOIL says $40/bbl is worst case scenario for oil prices
If we had not created necessary legal framework for resolving conflict, we could have faced problems today - President Aliyev
Iran registers order at COVAX to buy vaccine
Air traffic reduces in Georgia - EUROCONTROL
Second asphalt layer of Ashgabat-Turkmenabat highway being laid
Russian Export Center discloses value of support for exports to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's import of limestone, cement down in 10M2020
Aghdam operation was part of our plans - President Aliyev
Kocharyan and Sargsyan, you have knelt before us - President of Azerbaijan
We will restore the city of Aghdam - President of Azerbaijan
No-one should worry, especially leaders of Western countries - President Aliyev
Pashinyan imprisoning captures all opposition, West remains silent - President Aliyev
Many times when I was on line of contact, in trenches, I thought that one day we would return - President of Azerbaijan
I said, Pashinyan, you personally must give us a timetable, you must do it yourself - President Aliyev
We have destroyed enemy in hand-to-hand battle, crossing ravines, forests, mountains, and liberated Shusha - President Aliyev
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Victory on battlefield made it possible to liberate Aghdam district without a single shot - President of Azerbaijan
Today, many developed countries studying our experience - President of Azerbaijan
Some int'l organizations did not want to reveal identity of occupier in documents adopted - President Aliyev
We do not depend on anyone, do not depend on any country, on any int'l financial institution - President Aliyev
New gas condensate storage facilities to be launched in Iran's Asaluyeh County
Uzbekistan’s largest import of wood products falls on Russia
Uzbekistan eyes importing electricity from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for analyzer via tender
Azerbaijan indicts Armenian ex-defense minister on another article
To those questioning support for Azerbaijan territorial integrity, I suggest they read UNSC resolutions - Former Romanian FM
Turkmenistan considering possibility of growing pistachios
EBRD provides Azerbaijan with loan to improve environment in Ganja
Georgia reports 3,128 new coronavirus cases
Uzbekistan’s gov’t ready to back Ipoteka-Bank
UNICEF contributes to dev't of Turkmenistan's action plan for its national strategy
Israel's Netanyahu says will visit Bahrain soon
All news