WHO'S WHO: Boris Tadic

Views on BG | June 27, 2004, Sunday // 00:00
WHO'S WHO: Boris Tadic Democrat Boris Tadic, 46, is the newly elect President of Serbia and Montenegro. Photo by AFP.

The 46-year old psychologist took over from assassinated Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic as leader of the Democratic Party in February this year.

Boris Tadic was born in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on January 15, 1958.

He finished school and secondary education in Belgrade, then graduated at Psychology in the philosophy Faculty of Belgrade's University.

A specialist of clinical psychology, Tadic taught at college, worked in a hospital and as a freelance radio journalist.

A lifelong political activist, he was convicted for his opposition activities while studying psychology in Belgrade under Communist rule.

His father, Ljuba Tadic, was a prominent dissident who was dismissed from his post as philosophy professor at Belgrade University by Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito.

A member of the Democratic Party since 1990, being its deputy chairman for a while, Boris Tadic became telecommunications minister in the coalition government of democratic forces, which took over after Milosevic's fall, from November 2000 till June 2001.

Tadic boosted his reformist credentials while serving as defense minister of Serbia-Montenegro from March 2003 to April this year. He became then famous for 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 program.

One of his first moves as defence minister was to give soldiers better food and allow them to have showers more than once a week.

The father of four kids has the image of a sensible pragmatist who stays cool under fire, and is popular especially among young and professional Serbs.

Observers say Boris Tadic may have a difficult time working with Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica during head-of-state tenure. Tadic's Democratic Party was excluded from the Kostunica government, which is backed by the Socialist Party formerly led by Slobodan Milosevic.

A devoted supporter of assassinated Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, Boris 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 the "forget the nationalist policies" of former President Slobodan Milosevic, which left the country isolated internationally.
During the election campaign, Boris Tadic promised to take his country closer to the European Union, telling voters that this was only way to secure a better life for Serbs.

His private business background includes chairmanship at two enterprises - "Post and Telecommunications of Serbia" and "Yugoimport."

Boris Tadic has been married twice and has four children. He speaks English and French.

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