Serbia Calls For Snap Elections

BELGRADE -- Serbia's government called for early parliamentary elections on Monday after its collapse over Kosovo's declaration of independence and the country's ties with the European Union.

Serbia's president is expected to approve the proposal this week, paving the way for a vote on May 11.

Serbia's Cabinet fell apart Saturday in the battle between liberals and nationalists over whether to continue to pursue membership in the European Union. Doing so, supporters say, would complete the country's emergence from the isolation of the war years and put it in better position to assert its rights on the international stage.

To Serbia's nationalists, however, the recognition that many EU nations extended to Kosovo after its Feb. 17 declaration caused such offense that they no longer want to join the 27-nation union, unless the EU reverses course and declares that Kosovo is Serbia's territory.

"It has been established that the government no longer has united and joint policies" over Kosovo and Serbia's EU integration, the caretaker government said in a statement. "Aiming to establish the functioning of stable state institutions, we propose the dissolution of the parliament and the holding of new elections on May 11."

President Boris Tadic, who supports the drive toward the EU, said Saturday that he would accept the proposal for an early vote. He has until Thursday to make a formal announcement.