Belgrade: Serbian pro-Western President Boris
Tadic said on Wednesday that he is resigning, paving the way for
early presidential election where he will face strong
challenge from a nationalist candidate.
Serbia`s parliament speaker is expected to call the vote
for May 6, the same day when parliamentary and local elections
are already scheduled.
In the presidential vote, Tadic will be challenged by
nationalist candidate Tomislav Nikolic who has received tacit
support from Russia.
Tadic, who has worked hard to bring Serbia closer to the
European Union, said the challenge will be tough, and called
on voters to choose which way they want the country to go.
"I`m offering a road of European integration," Tadic
said. "I will run in that election with optimism because of
the positive trends in our country."
Tadic`s presidential term would have expired at the end
of this year. But he decided for an early vote apparently to
boost the chances of his Democratic Party, which has been
slipping in recent pre-election polls against Nikolic`s
populist Serbian Progressive Party.