Serbian prime minister seeks snap election after protests

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to meet with party leaders to hold snap election after crowd at sports event boo's his name

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic

Updated Jan 25, 2016

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will gather with his party leaders on Sunday to discuss a possible early election, after he was protested during a sports event in Belgrade at the weekend. 

A statement from his party said that Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had called a meeting for Sunday, Jan. 17, for the main board, where he will seek the right to decide on elections without waiting for a party congress on Feb. 13.

Opposition critics say that Vucic’s party become more and more autocratic as the oppression on media has increased, since the Serbian Progressive Party won the election.

Vucic has not shown any political reason for his decision to hold a snap election. 

The announcement of his meeting came shortly after his name and President Tomislav Nikolic’s name was booed during the opening of the European waterpolo championship in Belgrade on Sunday.

"There were 500 to 1,000 [fans] who said, 'let's destroy everything, let's behave like louts, make a political event of it’," Vucic told reporters. Although he was not present at the event, his ally Nikolic was in attendance.

"I'll give them what they want and let them make an even bigger political event. We'll have local and provincial elections soon. Will there be early parliamentary elections? I see everyone wants them, they say the government is working badly. The people should choose a better one."

Vucic was a hard-line nationalist during Yugoslavia's disintegration in the 1990s, serving as Serbia's feared information minister at the tail end of strongman Slobodan Milosevic's rule and presiding over draconian legislation designed to muzzle dissent.

In 2008 he broke with the Radical Party and formed the Progressive Party, embracing Serbia's bid to join the European Union and rebranding himself as a pro-Western reformer.

Reuters, TRTWorld and agencies