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Serbia: Ultranationalist Wins Yet Another Invalid Presidential Election

Belgrade, 17 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- An ultranationalist has taken the most votes in Serbia's presidential election, but the vote was not valid because of low voter turnout. Preliminary results show Tomislav Nikolic of the Radical Party taking about 45 percent of the vote Sunday. The Radical Party has long been allied with former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

In second place, taking about 36 percent of the vote, was Dragoljub Micunovic, of the pro-democracy ruling coalition.

The election failed, however, as voter turnout was only about 37 percent, well below the required 50 percent minimum.

It was the third failure by Serbian voters to elect a president in more than a year due to low turnout.

Noting the support for the ultranationalist candidate, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic called on voters not to turn their backs on pro-reform candidates in the 28 December early parliamentary elections.