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Pro-Democratic Parties in Serbia Agree to Form New Government

Serbia's pro-democratic parties have reached a power-sharing deal to form a new government, averting the possibility of ultra-nationalists regaining power.

Serbia's media said Friday Serbia's pro-European Democratic Party and moderate Democratic Party of Serbia reached a deal in overnight negotiations.

Serbia has been without a functioning government since parliamentary elections on January 21, when no party won enough seats to form its own government.

On Tuesday, nationalist parties were joined by other parties to elect ultra-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic as speaker of parliament.

The next day, President Boris Tadic set Friday as the deadline for those parties to say whether they had enough votes to form a coalition government.

Nikolic has opposed Serbian cooperation with the U.N.'s war-crimes tribunal, and his election prompted expressions of concern from the European Union and the United States.

Serbia's constitution required new elections if the political parties failed to form a government by May 14.

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