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Nikolic, Tadic to enter Serbian presidential run-off

By Xinhua

Belgrade : Tomislav Nikolic of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party was in lead on Sunday’s Serbian presidential election, but he had to face the incumbent pro-Western Boris Tadic in a presidential run-off, first preliminary results showed on Sunday evening.

Nikolic won 38.26 percent of the votes, followed by the candidate of the Democratic Party Tadic with 35.15 percent, said Dragan Vukmirovic, director of the Serbian Statistics Office, citing initial results.

Nikolic’s and Tadic’s camps each issued similar results and said they were preparing for a Feb. 3 runoff.

Vukmirovic said that the candidate of New Serbia party, Velimir Ilic was the distant third with 8.11 percent of the votes. Ilic was supported by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and his Democratic Party of Serbia.

The polling stations in Serbia were closed at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) after 13-hour voting.

The country’s electoral commission said in a statement on Sunday evening that 61.07 percent of 6.7 million registered voters had cast their ballots at the presidential election on Sunday, which represent data that had been obtained from the processed 29.2 percent of polling stations.

The turnout is the highest seen in any Serbian elections, presidential or parliamentary, since the October 2000 election that ended the rule of former leader Slobodan Milosevic.