Serbia goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new President with the incumbent pro-European Boris Tadic set for a victory over nationalist challenger Tomislav Nikolic.

Surveys predict that Mr. Tadic (54) will secure a fresh five-year mandate to lead Serbia, with some 58 per cent of the vote in the run-off ahead of populist Mr. Nikolic's 42 per cent.

The incumbent President — who brought the former internationally isolated state to the doorstep of the European Union with Serbia's candidacy status in March — focused his campaign on EU integration and economic development.

If elected, Mr. Tadic has vowed that during what would be his third and last presidential mandate, Serbia will start EU membership talks by the end of this year, with the aim of joining in five years.

Fraud claim

Mr. Tadic came just ahead of Mr. Nikolic in the May 6 first round of presidential elections, but the nationalist challenger accused the incumbent of fraud.

The claims have been dismissed both by Serbia's prosecutor and electoral officials but they have cast a shadow over the polls.

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