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Nikolic Sworn In As Serbian President


New Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (left) and former President Boris Tadic at the National Assembly building in Belgrade

New Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (left) and former President Boris Tadic at the National Assembly building in Belgrade

Tomislav Nikolic, a former hard-line Serbian nationalist opposition leader, has been sworn in as president of Serbia.

Nikolic was sworn in to a five-year term during the first session of Serbia's new parliament.

Nikolic, who has toned down his nationalist rhetoric in favor of a pro-European stance, unexpectedly defeated his pro-Western predecessor, Boris Tadic, in a May 20 runoff.

Nikolic told parliament he wanted Serbia to become an EU member, but also said Serbia would never give up its claim to Kosovo.

In a general election earlier in May, Nikolic's Progressive Party won more seats in parliament than Tadic's Democratic Party, but neither party has a majority.

Tadic is tipped to become the new prime minister as his Democrats are seen as more likely to form a workable coalition.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and B92
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