Serbian president Boris Tadic has announced his resignation, nine months before the end of his presidential term, paving the way for an early presidential election.
Serbia’s parliament speaker is expected to call the vote for May 6, the same day that general elections are already scheduled.
Tadic is set to leave the office April 6, after that Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, the speaker of parliament, will become the acting president until a new head of state is elected.
In the presidential election, pro-Western Mr Tadic will face a strong challenge from nationalist candidate Tomislav Nikolic.
Tadic said he waited to make the announcement because of concerns over security challenges in neighboring Kosovo, which Serbia has refused to recognize as an independent state.
He referred to an incident Wednesday, when two cars carrying members of a Serbian delegation were allegedly attacked with stones in Kosovo’s capital Pristina, near the EU mission.
Tadic says the attack underscored the reason why he waited with his announcement. He said he did not want any instability – calling the Kosovo attack another warning to Serbia’s institutions, government and parliament that it is important to maintain an existing level of security.
Mr Tadic’s presidential term would have expired at the end of this year.
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