Serbia’s ruling populists of President Aleksandar Vucic swept the municipal election in the capital of Belgrade Sunday, further cementing an already tight grip on power in the country. Preliminary results by the Ipsos polling agency and carried by Serbian state TV, projected that Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party won around 45 percent of the votes, while the main opponents — groups behind former Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas — trailed with some 19 percent. “This is the best result ever in Belgrade,” Vucic told supporters. “This victory wasn’t easy to achieve!”
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Serbia.
A new protest was held in Belgrade on Monday evening by citizens dissatisfied with the outcome of the April 2 presidential election in Serbia. Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic won the vote in the first round. The protesters gathered for the eight time and marched from the National Assembly, past several media outlets – where they made short stops and expressed their dissatisfaction, including state broadcaster RTS, tabloid Informer, and Studio B broadcaster – as well as past the Serbian government and the Electoral Commission (RIK). They carried banners with anti-government messages and those demanding fair and free elections and freedom of the media.
Thousands of people protested for the seventh consecutive day Sunday against the presidential election victory of Serbia’s powerful Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, amid fresh allegations by the opposition of a rigged vote count. The protests by mostly young people have been held every day since last Sunday’s election, in which Vucic polled 55 percent of the vote and avoided a runoff. Opposition groups have alleged irregularities, including muzzling of the media during the campaign and voter intimidation and Election Day bribe. Sasa Jankovic, the liberal candidate who placed a distant second in the race, alleged Sunday that ballots from 25 polling stations showed evidence of massive fraud in Vucic’s favor. Vucic denied the allegation and told the state electoral commission to do a recount from two of the mentioned voting stations.
Serbia’s electoral commission was forced to hold a televised recount of some votes after opposition challenger Sasa Jankovic disputed PM Aleksandar Vucic’s poll results in 25 constituencies. The Republic Electoral Commission recounted votes from two polling stations in front of TV cameras on Sunday after allegations of irregularities were raised by opposition presidential candidate Sasa Jankovic. The recount was urged by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who won last Sunday’s presidential elections and denies any electoral fraud. The recount of votes from the two polling stations showed that Vucic received four fewer votes than initially counted, but is unlikely to resolve opposition concerns about the vote.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic appeared headed toward a first-round victory in Serbia’s presidential election on Sunday, winning more than 50 percent of the vote among a field of 11 candidates, according to exit polls and early results. If the preliminary vote count holds and Mr. Vucic passes the 50 percent threshold, he would avoid a riskier two-way runoff on April 16. While Serbia is a parliamentary republic and the presidency is intended as a largely symbolic position, the actual effect of the election result is seen as removing the last check on Mr. Vucic’s power and as a further erosion of Serbia’s nascent democratic institutions. Mr. Vucic, by far the most popular political leader in the country, will choose his successor as prime minister, most likely a pliant one, and he is expected to exercise unchallenged control over all of the country’s main political institutions: Parliament, the executive branch, the ruling party and now the presidency.
Serbia’s powerful Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic claimed victory Sunday in the presidential election that was a test of his authoritarian rule, an outcome that could expand Russia’s influence in the Balkans. Speaking to supporters at his right-wing party’s headquarters, Vucic said, “My victory is crystal clear. This is a very important day for us, showing which way Serbia should be heading.” … While Vucic has said he wants to lead Serbia into the European Union, he has been pushing for deeper ties to longtime ally Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed him.
When he was Serbia’s information minister in the late 1990s, Aleksandar Vucic censored journalists, forced media critics out of business and served as chief propagandist for the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian strongman reviled for the atrocities that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. Today Mr. Vucic is the prime minister of Serbia, having been elected in 2014 as a reformer on promises to lead Serbia into a democratic future and membership in the European Union. He has renounced the extreme nationalist views of his past. Western leaders rely on him as a partner to maintain calm within the Serbian minorities in Kosovo and Bosnia, to support their migration policies and to keep sufficient distance from Russia — even though Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has professed his support for Mr. Vucic.
On a sunny morning in Belgrade as people rush to work, activists are hastily setting up mobile stands on the streets. “I have talked to citizens since the beginning of the campaign and am convinced we will win,” Jelena, a member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), told DW while arranging flyers and supporter lists on a stand with the slogan “Faster, harder, better.” As the first round of voting approaches this Sunday, the campaign has become increasingly tense, with insults traded, biased media coverage and a clear division between supporters and opponents of the ruling SNS presidential candidate and acting Prime Minister Vucic. Nominally there are 11 candidates, but judging by realities on the ground there’s Vucic – and then the “others.”
It started as a joke, a way to poke fun at a discredited political class in elections last year for the local assembly in this rundown town in central Serbia. Communications student Luka Maksimovic, 25, donned a white suit and loafers, an over-sized gold watch and gaudy ring, and rode a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Mladenovac, promising jobs and cash to anyone who would give him their vote. He assumed the guise of the worst kind of politician – a sleazy fraudster he duly christened Ljubisa ‘Beli’ Preletacevic. Beli means white in Serbian, while Preletacevic denotes somebody who switches political party for personal gain. Spreading the word on Youtube and Facebook, his party won 20 percent of the vote. “We were just fooling around,” Maksimovic said. But Serbia’s political establishment isn’t laughing anymore.
Serbian opposition groups alleged electoral fraud at weekend polls after the latest results showed a far-right DSS-Dveri coalition has been excluded from parliament. The leaders of the coalition, supported by other three opposition parties, called a protest for Saturday to be held in front of the Electoral Commission in Belgrade. With 99.45 percent of ballots counted, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party, SNS, has won nearly 50 percent of the vote, giving it at least 138 seats in the 250-member parliament.