Tomislav Nikolić

Nikolić, Tomislav (ämˈēsläv nēˈkōlĭch) [key], 1952–, Serbian political leader. A construction executive, he entered politics in the 1990s, becoming a member of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical party in 1991. That year he also was elected to the Serbian National Assembly. In 1998 his party formed a coalition with Serbia's Socialist party, and in 1999 Nikolić became vice president of both Serbia and Yugoslavia. During the war years he was an advocate of "Greater Serbia"—the incorporation of large parts of Croatia, Bosnia, and other territory into Serbia—and a close ally of Slobodan Milošević. Nikolić ran unsuccessfully for president of Serbia in 2000, 2004, and 2008. In 2008, he resigned from the Radical party and founded the Progressive party. Shifting to the center-right and abandoning his calls for Greater Serbia, he became an advocate of Serbian membership in the European Union. In 2012 Nikolić ran for the third time against Serbian president Boris Tadić and won after a runoff.

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