Serbian Ruling Party Scores Landslide Victory in General Elections
Serbia’s Progressive Party and its coalition partners won over 60% of the vote in Sunday’s elections, boycotted by major opposition parties. President Aleksandar Vucic, the party leader, told jubilant supporters that he did not expect such a landslide victory. “I have long been in politics, but I have never experienced such a moment. Tonight we have gained the tremendous trust of the people, the biggest ever in Serbia, under conditions where not many believed in it. We got a warning from the people that we have to be even more responsible, more serious, more diligent and that we have to make best possible results for our people and our citizens,” Vucic said.In the new parliament, the Serbian Progressive Party will hold about 190 out of 250 total seats. “We have won everywhere, where we have been losing (before). We have won in every place abroad, where we have never been winning in the past,” Vucic said.Serbia became the first country in Europe Sunday to hold general elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The elections, initially scheduled for April, were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The turnout among the 6.6 million voters eligible to cast ballots for the 250 seats in parliament and for local governing bodies was lower than in previous elections. Several main opposition parties boycotted the vote, claiming a lack of free and fair conditions and accusing Vucic of dominating the election campaign through his control of the mainstream media. Vucic denied the accusations. However, some smaller groups decided to participate, saying the boycott would only help Vucic’s party.