The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SPP) is likely to have 189 deputies in the 250-seat country’s parliament, after winning over 63 percent of votes, and will be joined by two other parties and those of the minorities.
Besides SNS, its current key coalition partner, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), and the first-time runner in the general election, the Serbian Patriotic Alliance SPAS passed the three percent threshold, reduced from five percent amid the opposition boycott campaign.
Several minorities’ parties will also have deputies based on the natural threshold.
The official results will be published by Wednesday. Still, the SNS leader and country’s President Aleksandar Vucic declared a landslide victory in the Sunday’s parliamentary, provincial and local elections tarnished by a boycott from the leading opposition group Alliance for Serbia, who accused the leader of burgeoning authoritarianism.
Vucic did not run for office himself but solely led the SNS campaign under ‘Aleksandar Vucic – for Our Children’ slogan.
The campaign had two parts – before the state emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic and after it was lifted.
“I am grateful to the people for this historical support”, said Vucic at the SPP headquarters during the celebration with blasted brass music.
“We won everywhere”, Vucic said. “We won in the places where we had never won before.”
Coupled with the opposition stay-at-home campaign and lingering concerns about the coronavirus, turnout was lower than usual, but not dramatically, at slightly under 50 percent according to the independent election monitor CRTA.
The boycotting opposition slammed the “fake elections” and claimed their movement was victorious.
However, SPP won a majority in the local assembly in the central Paracin municipality so far being one of a few districts held by the opposition.
The results for Sabac in western Serbia, the only town where SPP lost elections four years ago, are still being counted, but Vucic’s party declared victory.
It failed to take over the Serbia’s western municipality of Cajetina, where the opposition coalition won 61 percent of those who voted at local elections.
According to the preliminary results, 18 parties, including the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party, led by convicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj, considered Vucic’s political father, did not cross the three percent threshold for the national parliament.
Parliamentary seats according to CeSID: ruling coalition 221, opposition 12, minorities 17 MPs.
Serbia’s watchdogs say Vucic’s power lies in his manipulation of the media, with the majority of outlets, including TV channels with national frequency and tabloids, effectively serving as SPP mouthpiece.