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As the Serbian election campaign nears the finishing line, the university qualifications of the Progressive Party leader have become an issue.
Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the biggest opposition Progressives Party, has become embroiled in a row over his BA and MA degree.
"If you are interested in my diploma, look into the archives of the Faculty [where I took it] or you can come to my place," Nikolic told a TV station on Sunday.
According to the Progressives' website, Nikolic graduated from a private faculty in Novi Sad, which is owned by a party official, Jorgovanka Tabakovic.
Last week, Aleksandra Jerkov, from the League of Vojvodina Social Democrats, LSV, an ally of Serbia's ruling Democrats, challenged Nikolic to verify which universities he had graduated from.
General, local and presidential elections in Serbia are scheduled to be held on May 6. Nikolic is standing as a presidential candidate and is running a close race with the Democrats' leader, Boris Tadic.
When Nikolic remained silent on the issue, Jerkov went to the Novi Sad-based private faculty and found that Nikolic had obtained an MA from there but found no evidence of a BA, raising questions about how he could have completed an MA course with only a high-school degree.
"This is important because a man who is a candidate for president, who is engaged in public work, must be reponsible for every word," Jerkov said.
She pointed at recent examples in Europe of politicians who had resigned following exposure of their fake diplomas and doctoral dissertations.
Under Article 11 of the law on the election of a president, the head of state must be Serbian national but is not obliged to have a university diploma.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Party has put a scan of Nikolic's controversial BA diploma on the internet.
The party has also announced it may sue Jerkov and all media outlets that carried the news that Nikolic has no university degree for libel.
In the past ten days, both the Progressives and the Democrats have resorted to unscrupulous negative campaigning.
This spring almost 7 million Serbians are entitled to vote in presidential, general, provincial and local elections.
Since the renewal of multi-party politics in 1990 power has oscillated between a variety of parties in Serbia and votes have often followed by allegations of frauds and protests.
Twelve years after the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, the scene has changed significantly as parties rise, fall and change their minds. See Balkan Insight's profiles of Serbia's ruling and opposition parties.
Since the first multi-party elections were held in 1990, Serbia has often had acting heads of state, while many of those elected ended their terms before their mandates expired.
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