Serbian PM Vucic claims victory in general election

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic claims victory in general elections, initial projections show

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Serbian Prime Minister and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Aleksandar Vucic reacts after elections in Belgrade, Serbia April 24, 2016

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is most likely to win the country's general election after pollster's projections on Sunday showed his conservative Progressive Party winning around 50 percent of the votes.

"The citizens of Serbia again gave us the honour to lead the government," Vucic told supporters.

Vucic went to the polls two years earlier, seeking a new mandate from voters to continue on its plan to join the European Union. The results look set to secure the Progressives another parliamentary majority.

The election also marks a resurgence by the ultra-nationalist Radical Party of Vojislav Seselj, acquitted by the UN tribunal in The Hague last month of crimes against humanity during the 1990s breakup of Yugoslavia.

The Radicals is the third-biggest party in parliament  with around 7 percent of the vote, while it strongly opposes EU membership and seeks closer ties with Russia instead.

The Socialists, Vucic's coalition partner until now, are set to be the second-biggest party with around 14 percent of the vote, according to Cesid.

Vucic, a 46-year-old former hardline nationalist, has promised a new drive to privatise loss-making state-run companies following the election.

"We will continue our European path, fully respecting our ties with traditional allies in the East such as China and Russia," he said after casting his vote on Sunday.

Analysts think Vucic - information minister in the last years of late President Slobodan Milosevic's rule - will continue to govern in coalition with the Socialists, though he does not need to, to broaden his base.

TRTWorld, Reuters