Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic won his party’s approval to call elections two years before his term ends to change the make-up of the ruling coalition and carry out unpopular reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund. Vucic, whose party controls 135 seats in the 250-member parliament, is using early elections as a political tool for the second time since his Progressive Party first rose to power in 2012. The party initiated a snap ballot in 2014, elevating him to the head of the government. “My decision is to have elections,”
Vucic said Sunday at a meeting of his Progressive Party’s main board in Belgrade. Serbia needs four years of stability and the government needs “a full mandate for tough decisions so Serbia can be ready to join the European Union by 2020,” he said.
Vucic, who wants to prepare Serbia for European Union membership by 2020, is trying to repair the economy after three recessions since 2009. He signed a three-year accord with the International Monetary Fund in 2015 to stabilize public finances and unleash growth. The government must still tackle issues including bad loans and unprofitable companies, while struggling to sell state assets.