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Tadic Declares Victory in Serbia


Serbia's pro-European President Boris Tadic is declaring victory in the nation's crucial parliamentary election, but nationalists say he may not be able to form a government.

Mr. Tadic claimed a win for his pro-Western Democratic Party and its allies Sunday when independent election monitors said they had a "very convincing victory " over the nationalist Radical party. Preliminary official results also show the Democratic Party ahead.

Mr. Tadic says voters have chosen a clear European path. He has made European Union membership for Serbia a priority.

The EU is hailing the election results as a clear win by pro-European forces.

Mr. Tadic said coalition talks on forming a new government will be tough. But he said he will not let Serbia return to the isolation of the 1990s, when hardline nationalist Slobodan Milosevic was president.

Serb nationalists, angered by Western support for Kosovo's independence, oppose EU membership in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Radical party leader Tomislav Nikolic said a coalition without the Democrats is a possibility.

Mr. Tadic vowed Sunday that his government would never recognize Kosovo's independence, contradicting most EU nations which already recognize Kosovo

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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