Ruling Conservative Party Claims Victory in Serbian Parliamentary Election

By Reuters
June 23, 2020Europe
Ruling Conservative Party Claims Victory in Serbian Parliamentary Election
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic speaks at Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) headquarters during a national election, in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 21, 2020. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

BELGRADE—Serbia’s ruling conservative party led by President Aleksandar Vucic claimed a landslide victory in the parliamentary election on June 21.

The projection shows the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) on track to win 62.5 percent of the votes, while the Socialist party—a junior coalition partner in the outgoing government—is seen coming second with 10.7 percent of the votes.

The center-right Serbian Patriotic Alliance led by former water polo player Aleksandar Sapic is seen in third place with 4 percent of the votes.

A brass band orchestra at the SNS headquarters was playing traditional Serbian music before Vucic proclaimed victory.

Dozens of smiling people cramped in a small room, hugged each other and few had their faces covered with masks, despite doctors warning to be cautious to avoid spreading of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.

“Tonight people showed enormous trust in our team,” Vucic told journalists. “Serbian people have decided what kind of future they want.”

Another Serbian pollster CRTA saw turnout at 48 percent compared to 56.7 percent in 2016.

Turnout was hit by a boycott by some opposition parties, who say the vote will not be free or fair owing to Vucic’s grip on the media.

Serbia election
A voter wearing a mask prepares to cast her ballot during national election at a polling station in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 21, 2020. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

Voters largely back efforts by Vucic’s ruling coalition to push for Serbian membership of the European Union while maintaining strong ties with Russia and China.

But the future government will face increasing EU and the U.S. pressure to recognize the independence of Serbia’s former province of Kosovo, a move seen as key for regional stability.

Serbia, which has a population of 7.2 million, has reported 12,894 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 261 deaths. It was among the first European countries to start opening its borders on May 22 and all lockdown curbs have since been lifted.

Analysts and pollsters said that health concerns kept some voters at home, especially among higher-risk groups. About 1.2 million people on the electoral list have lived abroad for years and are unlikely to vote.

By Aleksandar Vasovic   

NTD staff contributed to this report

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.