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Serbian Opposition Leader Backs Off Election Boycott Threat


The Serbian Progressive Party's Tomislav Nikolic

The Serbian Progressive Party's Tomislav Nikolic

Tomislav Nikolic, the nationalist Serbian opposition leader, says he will take part in a May 20 runoff vote for the presidency despite an earlier threat to boycott the ballot.

Nikolic had said on May 12 that he would encourage voters to stay away from the runoff vote to protest what he alleges was mass fraud in May 6 parliamentary and presidential elections.

Authorities have dismissed the Serbian Progressive Party leader's accusation that the reformist Democratic Party of incumbent President Boris Tadic forged 500,000 votes to thwart a bid for power by Nikolic.

Nikolic is a former member of the ultranationalist Radical Party who has tried to rebrand himself as a pro-European conservative.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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