May 20 - Serbs cast ballots in the presidential run-off between incumbent Boris Tadic and rightist Tomislav Nikolic,hoping the next president will improve the economy. Lindsey Parietti reports.
As they cast their ballots in presidential run-offs, Serbs hope they're voting for a better life. Amid rising unemployment, many expect their next leader to work to alleviate economic troubles and lead talks on joining the European Union. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) PENSIONER ZIVOJIN MIKIC SAYING: "We expect better fortune for the people, to live better and with less worries, more jobs and better living standards. We expect a change," Incumbent Boris Tadic cast his ballot alongside his father Sunday. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BORIS TADIC SAYING: "It's an opportunity for us to reaffirm the orientation of the country towards the European civilisation." Tadic is expected to narrowly beat his challenger, conservative Tomislav Nikolic, for the third time since 2004. Nikolic has threatened to call his supporters to the streets over opposition claims of fraud in parliamentary and first-round presidential elections. But after casting his own ballot, he vowed to accept the winner. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) SERBIAN PROGRESSIVE PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TOMISLAV NIKOLIC SAYING: "I am convinced that I am the best choice for Serbia, but it is up to the citizens of Serbia now. And I will congratulate the winner." Election authorities and foreign monitors have found no evidence of the 500,000 votes Nikolic says were forged. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters