Serbia: Prime minister wins election in endorsement of pro-EU policy | The Guardian

Serbia’s pro-western prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, won a resounding endorsement in Sunday’s general election for his policy of pursuing European Union membership, securing four more years in power with a parliamentary majority. But he will have to contend with a resurgent ultra-nationalist opposition that rejects integration with the EU and demands closer ties with Russia. Vučić went to the polls two years early, saying he wanted a clear mandate from Serbia’s 6.7 million voters for reforms to keep EU membership talks launched in December on track for completion by 2019. Even though Vučić presided over a period of austerity, partly forced on him by the terms of a 1.2bn euro ($1.35bn) loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, voters again strongly backed the 46-year-old, himself a former hardline nationalist. His conservative Progressive party is set to win just under 50% of the vote, up from 48% two years ago, a projection by pollsters Cesid, the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy, said.

Serbia: Vučić to resign, Serbia heads for early elections | New Europe

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, announced on Sunday evening that he would be calling early elections in Serbia, B92 reports. That is only two years since the last legislative elections in March 2014. Following a meeting with his party’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) executive committee, Vučić argued that elections were necessary to resolve the current impasse of reforms. In fighting against a political-criminal power conglomerate, Vučić argued, his administration needs a new mandate that is resisting change for over a decade. He vowed to turn Serbia into an EU member state in which rule of law prevails by 2020. In the current parliament, SNS holds 158 seats in Serbia’s 250-seat parliament. SNS began as a junior coalition partner of the Socialist Party, before withdrawing their support and heading for the polls. Since, they have dominated the Serbian political landscape, which was traditionally fragmented.

Serbia: Premier Wins Party Support to Call Early Election | Bloomberg

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,”

Serbia: Premier Seeks Snap Ballot to Lock In Public Support | Bloomberg

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will ask his party to authorize him to call early parliamentary elections two years before his term ends as he maintains a strong lead in opinion polls despite growing criticism of his policies. The ruling Progressive Party’s board is scheduled to meet Jan. 17 to “discuss the political situation,” it said in an e-mailed statement in Belgrade on Wednesday. The prime minister wants approval to initiate elections before his party’s congress on Feb. 13, with the actual ballot to be held later. Vucic’s party, together with some small political groups, controls 135 seats in the 250-member parliament.

Serbia: Progressives Prepare to Form Cabinet After Election Win | Businessweek

Serbia’s Progressive Party pledged to form a new government by May 1 after winning an outright parliamentary majority in an election on a pledge to fight graft, fix the economy and join the European Union by 2020. The party, led by Aleksandar Vucic, who forced the ballot two years earlier than scheduled, won 48.3 percent, more than polls predicted, Serbia’s Election Commission said today. Vucic will get 158 of the chamber’s 250 seats, while Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s Socialist Party received 13.5 percent, for 44 seats, according to preliminary results. Vucic said he will consult with President Tomislav Nikolic and three other parties that made it into parliament. Vucic, who was once an ally of late Balkan strongman Slobodan Milosevic, pledged to embrace painful austerity measures endorsed by the International Monetary Fund and lead Serbia into the EU two decades after the bloody Balkan civil wars. He said he will “extend a hand” to other parties before forming his administration.