Tomislav Nikolić

Tomislav Nikolić

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = Tomislav Nikolić
honorific-suffix =

order =
office = Speaker of Parliament of Serbia
term_start = May 8, 2007
term_end = May 13, 2007
term_start2 =
term_end2 =
predecessor=Predrag Marković
successor=Oliver Dulić
birth_date = Birth date and age|1952|2|15|mf=y
birth_place = Kragujevac, SR Serbia, Yugoslavia
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = Serb
spouse = Dragica Nikolić
party = Serbian Progressive Party
relations =
children = Radomir, Branislav
residence = Belgrade, Serbia
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession = Construction Technician
religion = Serbian Orthodox

website =

Tomislav Nikolić ( _sr. Томислав Николић, Audio|TomislavNikolic.ogg|listen) (born February 15, 1952) is a Serbian politician, President of the Serbian Progressive Party. He is also a former member of the Serbian Radical Party where he served as Deputy Leader of the party and parliamentary leader during the absence of Vojislav Šešelj from February 23, 2003 until he resigned on September 6, 2008 following a disagreement with Šešelj.

He served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia between May 8, and May 13, 2007 and was Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of Yugoslavia from 1999 to 2000.

Nikolić has published thirteen books as of 2005, mostly about politics. He and his wife Dragica (née Ninković) have two sons, Radomir and Branislav. [cite web |url= |title=Ko je ovaj čovek? Tomislav Nikolić |accessdate=2008-02-04 |publisher=Glas Javnosti |author=Zorica Vulić |date=2000-08-15 |language=Serbian]


Nikolić was born in Kragujevac. He trained as a construction technician, finishing in his home town as an average student in the elementary school and the Technical High School. After dropping out of the Faculty of Law of the city's University he got a job and worked at the construction company "Žegrap". He led the construction of the Belgrade - Bar railway, as well as conducting other works in Majdanpek, Priboj, Prijepolje, Trebinje, Belgrade and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. He headed the investments department of the company "22. decembar" for twelve years. For two years he was the technical director of the communal works in Kragujevac.

Political career

In the 1990s, he became a member of the People's Radical Party, which merged with the Serbian Chetnik Movement to form the Serbian Radical Party. Nikolić became a member of the new party on January 23 1991. He was soon elected the party's vice-president, and at the last three Congresses of Serbian Radicals he was elected deputy president.

Nikolić has been a deputy in the National Assembly of Serbia since 1991, the only one to be elected continuously since that year. During the rule of Slobodan Milošević and the Socialist Party of Serbia, he and Šešelj were sentenced to three months in prison which he served in Gnjilane.However, in March 1998 Nikolić's Serbian Radical Party formed a coalition with the Socialist Party of Serbia and Nikolić became the vice-president of the Government of Serbia and, by the end of 1999, the vice-president of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Parliamentarians elected Nikolić the Speaker of Parliament on May 8, 2007. Nikolić defeated Milena Milošević of the Democratic Party by 142 to 99 votes out of 244 members of Parliament. The Democratic Party of Serbia endorsed him. Hajredin Kuci of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Ylli Hoxha of the Reformist Party ORA, and Prime Minister of Kosovo Agim Çeku condemned the election of Nikolić as "counterproductive and dangerous for Kosovo". [cite web |url= |title=Kosovo Condemns Nikolic Appointment |accessdate=2007-05-09 |publisher=Balkan Investigative Reporting Network |date=2007-05-09] On May 9 Nikolić met with Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Alekseyev and gave a speech to Parliament in which he advocated making Serbia part of a Belarus-Russia superstate, saying that together they would "stand up against the hegemony of America and the European Union." [cite web |url= |title=Serbian Parliament Speaker Calls For Closer Russia Ties |accessdate=2007-05-09 |publisher=Radio Free Europe |date=2007-05-09]

He resigned from his position as speaker on May 13 after the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia formed a preliminary alliance in preparation for a coalition government. He was the Speaker with the shortest mandate in the history of parliamentary democracy in the Balkans.cite web |url= |title=Nikolic elected as Serbian parliament speaker |accessdate=2007-05-09 |publisher=People's Daily Online |author=Xinhua |date=2007-05-08] cite web |url= |title=Serb radical quits as speaker |accessdate=2007-05-13 |publisher=Al Jazeera English |date=2007-05-13] Nikolić told the Democratic parties that if they "peacefully accept" the independence of Kosovo the Radical Party "will not sit calmly and wait."

Presidential campaign, 2000

Nikolić ran in the FR Yugoslavia presidential election of 2000, finishing in third place behind Vojislav Koštunica and Slobodan Milošević.

Presidential campaign, 2003

Nikolić also ran in the 2003 Serbian presidential election where he achieved most votes in the first round with 46,23%, ahead of Dragoljub Mićunović, but the results of the election were invalid due to a turnout of only 38,80%.

Presidential campaign, 2004

Nikolić made yet another bid for presidency in the Serbian presidential elections, 2004. In the first round, he received 30.1% of the vote and Boris Tadić received 27.3%. In the second round held on June 27, Nikolić lost to Tadić having only secured 45.4% of the vote, while Tadić obtained 53.7%.

Presidential campaign, 2008

Tomislav Nikolić ran again for presidency in the 2008 presidential election. His slogan was "With All Heart" (Serbian: Свим срцем, "Svim srcem"). On January 20, 2008, Nikolić again won the first round with 39.99% of the vote. Nikolić and incumbent Boris Tadić, who got 35.39% of the vote, then faced each other in a runoff election on February 3. Nikolić lost to Tadić receiving 2,197,155 or 47.97% of votes. [cite web |url= |title=Serbia election victory for Tadic |accessdate=2008-02-04 |publisher=BBC News |date=2008-02-04]

Resignation and the Serbian Progressive Party

Nikolić abruptly resigned from Radical Party leadership on September 6, 2008. Serbian media cites differences between Nikolić and other Radical Party hierarchy, especialy party leader Vojislav Šešelj, about how the party should react to proposed European Union membership for Serbia. [cite news|url= |title=Top Serbian ultra-nationalist quits posts over EU: report |publisher=AFP |date=2008-09-06 |accessdate=2008-09-08] In the following days Nikolić formed a parliamentary group with a number of other Radical Party representatives called Napred Srbijo ("Forward, Serbia"). [cite news|url= |title=Nikolić forms own parliamentary club |publisher=B92 |date=2008-09-08 |accessdate=2008-09-08] Nikolić stated to the press that the "old Serbian Radical Party no longer exists". [ ] On September 11, 2008 Vojislav Šešelj addressed to all Radical Party members by the letter. He named Nikolić and his group as "traitors, western puppets and agents". He also called all SRS members to remain loyal to the ideology of "Serbian nationalism, anti-globalism and pro-Russian politics". [ [] ] On September 12, 2008 Nikolić and his group were officialy ejected from the Radical Party. [] In reply, Nikolić announced he would form his own party. [] The founding congress is to be held on 21 October 2008. []

On September 24, 2008 he announced that his new party's name would be Serbian Progressive Party and that the first convention would be held on October 21. [ [ Nikolićeva Srpska napredna stranka] ]

Accusations of war crimes by Nataša Kandić

In 2005, the Humanitarian Law Center asked the War Crimes Prosecution Office to investigate a massacre committed in the village of Antin in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia in August 1991. Survivors claimed that it was committed by the members of volunteer units “Šešelj’s followers”, among whom Tomislav Nikolić was mentioned. The inspiration for initiating such a claim were previous statements of Nikolić regarding his involvement in the Yugoslav wars. He was awarded a title of chetnik voivode ("Chetnik duke") by Vojislav Šešelj for “showing by a personal example how one should fight for the Serb ideal in the battles in Slavonia”. [ [ The Humanitarian Law Center demands investigation of the war crimes in Antin] Greek Helsinki Monitor]

The suspicion that Nikolić had taken part in the killing of civilians in Antin was first raised by Žarko Korać, a member of the National Assembly of Serbia, who first revealed information about the Antin massacre in an interview to RFE in June 2005. In the same month, Vladimir Popović, former chief of the Government Communications Bureau, revealed more details in the interview to B92 "Insajder" saying that he had learned about these allegations from Jovica Stanišić, former head of State Security. [ [ Jovica Stanisic: Tomislav Nikolic je pobio desetak baba] B92] Nataša Kandić, human rights activist, wrote in a public letter that she was in possession of evidence that indicates Nikolić had personally participated in the killing of elderly residents of Antin. [ [ Proofs of the Crimes in Antin in 1991 and of the responsibility of Tomislav Nikolić and the Yugoslav National Army] Greek Helsinki Monitor ]

Nikolić did not deny claims that he was stationed in Antin at the time, but has stated that there were no civilian deaths in Antin and that he himself never fired a bullet. [ [ Intervju: Tomislav Nikolić 15.6.2005.] Kurir] Tomislav Nikolić filed a lawsuit on September 12, 2005, as Kandić stated on B92 that "some civilians in the Croatian village of Antin suffered under his hand in 1991." [ Politika : Nikolić tuži, Kandićeva „odlaže” : POLITIKA ] ] The Serbian Radical Party then accused the NGO of spreading anti-Serbian sentiments. [n:Serbian Parliament members accuse NGOs of anti-Serbian campaign| [1] The Croatian ministry of the interior also stated that they did not have any information on Nikolić's offences in Antin.

After Kandić refused to apologize, Nikolić sued her for defamation. [ [ Kandićeva: Bez izvinjenja Nikoliću] ]


External links

* [ Presidential Campaign Website 2008]
* [ Biography at B92]
* [ Speeches and statements of the Serbian politicians from 1987 - 2007]

NAME = Nikolić, Tomislav
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Serbian politician
DATE OF BIRTH = February 15 1952
PLACE OF BIRTH = Kragujevac

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