Serbia’s incumbent President Vucic is about to win his second term

The commission also said that Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won 43.4% of the vote in a parliamentary election.

The opposition presidential candidate Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general, got 17.5%, while his alliance United for Victory got 13.1%.

The Socialist Party of Serbia, long-time coalition partner of the SNS, took third place with 11.7%.

Since the SNS is unlikely to get enough members of the 250-seat parliament to govern alone, it will have to seek coalition partners.

According to preliminary data from the Commission, the turnout was 58.54%.

Vucic was running for a second five-year term on promises of peace and stability just as Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, putting Serbia under pressure from the West to balance its traditional ties with Moscow and aspirations to the European Union to join, to decide ( EU).

Acknowledging that the conflict in Ukraine affected the campaign, Vucic said Serbia has no plans to deviate from its balancing act between its EU membership bid and close ties with Russia and China, a key investor.

“We will maintain a policy that is important to Europeans, Russians and Americans, and that is… military neutrality.”

“Serbia will try to maintain friendly and partnership relations with the Russian Federation in many areas,” Vucic said.

Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas, while its army has ties to the Russian military.

The Kremlin is also supporting Belgrade’s opposition to Kosovo’s independence by blocking its membership in the United Nations.

Although Serbia supported two United Nations resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it refused to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Pollsters from CeSID and CRTA reported several irregularities, including ballots being photographed.

The opposition largely boycotted a general election in 2020, allowing Vucic’s SNS party and its allies to secure 188 seats in the 250-seat parliament.

Vucic, a veteran politician who served as information minister under former strongman Slobodan Milosevic in 1998, has morphed from a nationalist incendiary into a supporter of EU membership, military neutrality and relations with Russia and China.

Ponos has accused Vucic of using the war in Ukraine in his election campaign to capitalize on people’s fears.

Opposition and legal guardians also accuse Vucic and his allies of an autocratic style of rule, corruption, nepotism, control of the media, attacks on political opponents and links to organized crime. Vucic and his allies have repeatedly denied all of these allegations.

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