Tadic's party, socialists to form new Serbian government - media

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BELGRADE, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Serbia's pro-Western Democratic movement and the country's Socialist Party have reached an agreement to attempt to form a coalition government, Serbian media reported on Thursday.

The official results of the country's May 11 parliamentary elections were announced on May 21.

The Western-leaning "For a European Serbia" coalition, led by President Boris Tadic, won 102 seats (38.4%) in the 250-seat parliament and a coalition including the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia, and United Serbia took 20 seats (7.58% of the vote).

According to the respected B92 radio station, as well as some television and print media, it will not be too difficult for Tadic's movement and the socialists, which jointly have 122 seats, to find an additional six seats among liberal or minority parties in order to reach the required majority in parliament.

Unconfirmed media reports claim that all the current negotiations between the democrats and socialists are focused on the composition of the new government. Pro-Western Finance Minister Mirko Cvetkovic is expected to become new prime minister, and the Socialist Party's leader, Ivica Dacic, will become his first deputy.

Pro-Western Democrats advocate Serbian membership of the European Union, but their nationalist rivals, led by outgoing Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, are against the move due to most EU states' support for Kosovar sovereignty.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February. It has since been recognized by the United States and the majority of EU member states.

An official announcement regarding the coalition is expected next week.

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