Serbia’s ruling party eyes a landslide victory

Serbia’s ruling populists of President Aleksandar Vucic’s party looked set to tighten their hold on power in the parliamentary election on Sunday, news wires reported. The vote is taking place despite the spread of coronavirus in the Balkan country and a partial boycott by the opposition.

Nearly 6.6 million voters were eligible to cast ballots for Serbia’s 250-member parliament and local authorities in the first national vote in Europe amid the virus outbreak. The election, initially planned for April but postponed because of the pandemic, comes as Serbia is still reporting dozens of new cases daily after completely relaxing its strict lockdown rules. Health authorities provided face masks, gloves and sanitizers at the polling stations.

President Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party appears set for a landslide victory, facing little challenge from the divided opposition. “For the last four years, we really gave our utmost so I hope that today Serbian voters will come out and confirm that they are satisfied with our work,” Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said at a voting station in Belgrade. “I hope people will today give their trust to President Aleksandar Vucic and his team.”

Citing lack of free and fair conditions and danger to public health, several main opposition groups are boycotting the vote. But a number of smaller parties have decided to run, saying the boycott would only sideline an already marginalized opposition.

Vucic, who says he seeks European Union entry for Serbia, has called on his supporters to vote in large numbers to get a strong mandate for internationally mediated peace negotiations on the future of Serbia’s breakaway former province of Kosovo. A US-brokered Kosovo-Serbia summit is to he held in Washington on 27 June, while EU officials have announced plans to restart Brussels-mediated negotiations.

 

Similar articles

  • Turkey urges EU to be an “honest broker” in disputes

    Turkey urges EU to be an “honest broker” in disputes

    The Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday called on the European Union to be an “honest broker” in disputes between Ankara and EU member states France, Greece and Cyprus, news wires reported. He warned that Turkey would be forced to “reciprocate” against any decisions the bloc takes against the country.

    20
  • Merkel and Macron give impetus to Kosovo-Serbia talks

    Merkel and Macron give impetus to Kosovo-Serbia talks

    A video summit with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will be held on Friday, co-headed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a source in the Elysee Palace announced on Monday. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovan PM Avduallah Hoti are expected to join the French and German leaders, as well as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the source said.

    23
  • Serbia, Kosovo leaders to meet in Brussels

    Serbia, Kosovo leaders to meet in Brussels

    The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will hold talks in Brussels on 12 July, European Commission spokesman said on Monday cited by news wires. Sunday’s meeting between Kosovo PM Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, which will be the first in this format since November 2018, will be hosted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

    29