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Serbian ruling coalition expected to retain power after election

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Serbian ruling coalition expected to retain power after election

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic expected to remain in power after today
Photo: Izvor

Serbia will today hold elections for its National Assembly. The vote was postponed from April 26 due to public health concerns.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic currently leads a catch-all populist coalition that holds a slim majority in parliament with 130 of 250 seats. However, this lead is expected to widen after today. Following years of anti-government protests, most of the pro-EU opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia has decided to boycott the election after a European Parliament commission judged that the planned April election would likely not be free and fair.

In addition to the boycott, a recent policy passed by Vucic to lower the threshold from 5% to 3% for parties to enter parliament is expected to dilute the incoming opposition into smaller, ideologically diverse parties, which are unlikely to form a roadblock to Vucic’s agenda. Only five of the nineteen political parties or coalitions currently in parliament hold more than five seats, and at least one will participate in the boycott. As a result, Vucic’s populist coalition will almost certainly remain in power, successfully avoiding significant opposition at the polls and in parliament.

While Vucic has committed to negotiations regarding Serbia’s accession into the EU, he has voiced EU scepticism and may use the momentum of the election to pursue stronger relations with China, which has played a high-profile role during the pandemic of providing Serbia with medical supplies and funding.

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