…and the winner is Tadić
May 12, 2012 1 Comment
After I posted my comment that I consider Dačić not the winner of the Serbian elections, Tim Judah was surprised that I consider Tadić the winner of the elections, even before the second round of elections. Consider that his coalition only 22.11% of the vote and he got 25.31% in the presidential elections, this does seem counter-intuitive.
This is why I think that despite the numbers, Tadić is the winner:
First, his party did a lot better than it appears at first glance. While the DS-led coalition “For a European Serbia” gained 102 seats in parliament last time around, this time around the “Choice for a better life” coalition of the DS gained only 67 seats. However, in 2008, DS ran together with more singificant partners, most importantly G17plus which ran as the new United Regions of Serbia independently this time around, gaining 16 seats. Thus, in total of 83 seats, down from 102 by 20, but not a huge loss.The loss of the DS share is even smaller. Only 64 of the 102 MPs were from the DS. While DS will have to leave some seats to its partners from the 67 gained in 2012, it will retain a proportionally larger share as the partners were much smaller this time around.
Second, the loss was also cushioned by the limited success of Nikolić SNS. It has taken over most SRS voters since 2008 and its results in 2012 were sure a success for the party. Nevertheless, the number of seats gained by the SNS in 2012 is 73 or 5 less than the SRS in 2008. As a result, DS no longer is heading the largest coalition as it did in 2008, but the opponents took a beating as well.
Third, in the presidential elections in 2008, Tadić gained around 10% more than this time, but Nikolić gained 15% more last time around and was in first place. Thus, there has been a stronger showing of additional candidates, such as Dačić, but this was hurt Nikolić more and considering the more support for other candidates for Tadić, he is likely to win by a larger margin than last time around.
Altogether, this is a success for Tadić, who has been president for 8 years and it thus likely to become the longest serving president in the region, as he ducked the 2 term limit common throughout the region, including Serbia, through the passing of a new constitution. In addition, the opposition to the DS is likely to weaken as Nikolić seems like the eternal loser, having run for president in 2000 (of Yugoslavia), 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Finally, in light of the economic crisis that also hit Serbia hard after 2008 and the tendency of incumbents to lose in European elections, including in the region (Croatia, Slovenia), the elections results suggest that the true winner is Tadić.