May 21 - Opposition leader Tomislav Nikolic declares victory in Serbia's presidential run-off. Paul Chapman reports.
Serbs are celebrating after Tomislav Nikolic declared victory in Sunday's run-off presidential election. But he's having to reassure the West over his past. Opposition leader Nikolic is a former ultra-nationalist last in power when NATO bombed Serbia in 1999. But the man who was once an ally of Slobodan Milosevic says he'll keep the Balkan nation moving towards the European Union. SOUNDBITE: TOMISLAV NIKOLIC SAYING (Serbian): "The outcome of this election shows - and I will keep my promises - that Serbia will not steer away from the EU path, that Serbia wants to protect its people in Kosovo and Metohija, and that this election was not a referendum about who was to lead Serbia into the EU or who was not. Here we are resolving internal problems that were created by Boris Tadic and the Democratic Party." The West has been encouraged by Nikolic's apparent transition from ultra-national to pro-European conservative. But some Western diplomats are still unsure about the actual substance of his policy. Paul Chapman, Reuters