Serbia Holds Early General Elections

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | April 24, 2016, Sunday // 12:14
Bulgaria: Serbia Holds Early General Elections A woman casts her ballot during snap parliamentary election in Belgrade, Serbia, 24 April 2016. Photo: EPA.

Early parliamentary elections along with elections for the assembly of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and for most local assemblies are taking place in Serbia on Sunday.

Polling stations opened at 7 o'clock (CET) and the voting will last until 20 o'clock (CET).

A total of 3270 candidates on twenty electoral lists are competing to win one of the 250 parliamentary seats.

Another fifteen lists are competing for the 120 seats in the Vojvodina provincial assembly. Elections are also being held in seventeen municipalities in Belgrade and 138 other municipalities and 25 cities across the country.

A total of 6 771 497 citizens are eligible to vote at 8378 polling stations.

The main ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is expected to win the elections with ease.

According to opinion polls, SNS will win about half of the votes and together with the seats of its coalition partners is expected to reach up to two-thirds majority in the new parliament.

The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) is projected to be second with 12.3 % of the votes.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic called for the holding of early elections two years ahead of schedule in order to obtain stronger mandate as his party currently has 131 MPs, which is just over half of the parliamentary seats.

Vucic claims that a stronger mandate will empower him to bring Serbia closer to EU membership and economic prosperity.

According to critics, the ruling party just wants to extend its power for another four years and take over the opposition bastion of Vojvodina and other municipalities.

Some of the established parties might not pass the 5 % electoral threshold, while some far-right and pro-Russian parties might return to parliament after being absent for two years.

The voter turnout at 9 o'clock (CET) stood at 5.2 %.

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Tags: Serbia, elections, Aleksandar Vucic, SPS, SNS, EU

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