Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s parliamentary speaker said it would be no surprise if national elections are called before March because it is evident that campaigning has already begun.
“Strictly speaking, elections need to be called by March 11 at the latest and held by May 11,” Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic told reporters in parliament in Belgrade today. “But I won’t be surprised if it happens sooner.”
It will be up to politicians to decide whether a six-month election campaign is what Serbia needs, she said, adding it makes no difference to her whether the vote is held in December, January or March. Under the constitution, the president must disband parliament and call elections.
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, representing a coalition of three main parties and a dozen smaller groups, is the first to last its full term since pro-Western and reform- oriented parties ousted Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.
President Boris Tadic dismissed opposition calls earlier this year for early elections, arguing that an early vote was not in the country’s best interest ahead of an European Commission opinion on whether the nation has made sufficient efforts to qualify for membership talks. The Commission will unveil its decision tomorrow around noon.
--Editors: Douglas Lytle, James M. Gomez
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