Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, known for his recent strong stance in support of Russia in the war in Ukraine, has won a second presidential term after Sunday’s elections with his Progressive Party (SNS) also coming out on top in the early parliamentary election.
Vučić’s victory is seen as a major upset for European pollsters, who predicted a far closer race. A polling failure also occurred in Hungary, with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán scoring an unexpected landslide victory.
According to calculations by the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID), the Serbian Progressive Party won 43.6 percent of the vote, which will be enough for 121 seats. Meanwhile, 36 seats were won by the opposition Coalition for Victory Together in Serbia, with 12.9 percent of vote share, and the Serbian Socialist Party won 32 seats with 11.6 percent of the vote.
Calculations also indicated the Hungarian Association of Vojvodina — the party of the Hungarian ethnic minority in Serbia — will have six seats in the 250-member parliament in Belgrade.
In the presidential election, according to CeSID and Ipsos, Aleksandar Vučić took first place with 59.1 percent, while his opponent Zdravko Ponos finished second with 17.5 percent, a sufficient result which eliminates the need for a second round. The Serbian Electoral Commission held a press conference at 9 p.m.
According to the State Election Commission preliminary data, turnout stood at 58.54 percent.
In a victory speech in Belgrade on Sunday, Vučić pledged to maintain a policy of “military neutrality,” insisting this is “important for the Europeans, Russians and Americans.
“Serbia will try to preserve friendly and partnership relations in many areas with the Russian Federation,” the Serbian president added.
The 52-year-old Vučić has been prime minister of Serbia during two terms from 2014 to 2017 and assumed the presidency on May 31, 2017.