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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 00:04 GMT 01:04 UK
Profile: Boris Tadic
Boris Tadic
Tadic has the image of a sensible pragmatist
Serbian reformist Boris Tadic has won the second round of the country's presidential election, beating his nationalist rival Tomislav Nikolic.

Mr Tadic took over from assassinated Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic as leader of the Democratic Party in February this year.

The 46-year old psychologist has pledged to follow in his predecessor's footsteps in charting a democratic, pro-European, free-market course for Serbia.

He has also urged Serbs to "forget the nationalist policies" of former President Slobodan Milosevic, which left the country isolated internationally.

During the election campaign, Mr Tadic promised to take his country closer to the European Union, telling voters that this was only way to secure a better life for Serbs.


Mr Tadic was born in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo in 1958.

A lifelong political activist, he was convicted for his opposition activities while studying psychology in Belgrade under Communist rule.

His father, Ljuba Tadic, was a prominent dissident who was dismissed from his post as philosophy professor at Belgrade University by Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito.

A member of the Democratic Party since 1990, Mr Tadic became telecommunications minister in the coalition government of democratic forces which took over after Mr Milosevic's fall.


Mr Tadic boosted his reformist credentials while serving as defence minister of Serbia-Montenegro from March 2003 to April this year.

He made the General Staff directly accountable to the Defence Ministry for the first time since World War II, and launched a modernisation plan aimed at readying the armed forces for membership in Nato's Partnership for Peace programme.

One of his first moves as defence minister was to give soldiers better food and allow them to have showers more than once a week.

Mr Tadic has the image of a sensible pragmatist who stays cool under fire, and is popular especially among young and professional Serbs.

Trouble ahead?

Observers say Mr Tadic may have a difficult time working with Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

Mr Tadic's Democratic Party was excluded from the Kostunica government, which is backed by the Socialist Party formerly led by Mr Milosevic.

The country's Beta news agency believes Mr Kostunica will either attempt to strengthen his position by going for early elections, or choose to ignore the president, who has only limited formal powers.

Either way, the agency says, the prime minister is unlikely to allow Mr Tadic's Democratic Party to join the government.

Mr Tadic, on the other hand, will try to use his victory to give his own party electoral momentum and put pressure on the cabinet.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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