Boris Tadic

President of Serbia

(BBC News; China Daily)
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Boris Tadic, leader of the Democratic Party (DS), was elected president of Serbia on 27 June 2004, in a runoff election against Serbian Radical Party candidate Tomislav Nikolic.

Tadic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 15 January 1958. He finished his secondary education in Belgrade, and graduated with a degree in psychology from Belgrade University.

A member of the DS since 1990, Tadic became telecommunications minister in the coalition government of democratic forces from November 2000 to June 2001. Tadic took over the presidency of the DS in February 2004.

Tadic served as defense minister of Serbia-Montenegro from March 2003 to April 2004. He became known for his army reforms and his idea to send a Serbian contingent on a mission to Afghanistan in a bid to warm his country's relations with NATO.

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

A supporter of assassinated Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, Tadic 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, Tadic promised to take his country closer to the EU, telling voters that this was only way to secure a better life for Serbs.

Tadic advocated co-operation with the West, a peaceful solution to the Kosovo problem, the continuation of reforms, and EU accession in as short a time as possible. His presidency is expected to help Serbia continue its journey towards association with the EU, the Partnership for Peace programme, and other European and NATO organisations.

EU representatives welcomed Tadic's victory. The head of the EU mission in Belgrade, Geoffrey Barrett, said the Union is "very satisfied" with the election of Tadic.

Tadic is married and has two children. He speaks English and French.

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