Vucic and Serbia’s ruling SNS party on its way to winning the election

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, is on track to run for re-election on Sunday. His SNS party also appeared to have won the majority of the vote, an activity likely to allow the populist conservative leader to consolidate his grip on power for a second term.

Opinion polls Ipsos and CESID predict that Vucic will capture nearly 60% of the vote amid relatively high turnout, with official results expected in the coming weeks. the coming days. If confirmed, Vucic will avoid the flow for a second election in progress.

“Thank you very much to the citizens of Serbia,” he said. “I am incredibly proud and infinitely happy. . . I believe in a convincing and significant win and I believe everyone will get what they deserve.”

Vucic, a former extremist who rose to prominence as propaganda minister under former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, campaigned with a message of stability against a backdrop of Russia, Serbia’s traditional ally, invade Ukraine.

He has become strong international pressure about his opposition to joining sanctions against Russia – one of the few European leaders to take such a stance.

Vucic is unlikely to change course significantly if a significant proportion of his voters sympathize with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign against Kyiv, and resent the West, which has bombed Belgrade in recent years. Yugoslav War in 1999.

“In terms of Russian sanctions, a rapid change seems unlikely,” said Milos Damjanovic, an analyst at consulting firm BIRN in Belgrade. “Vucic will try to play with the times and avoid obeying sanctions on Russia for as long as possible, hoping that the war in Ukraine will end or pause.”

How far Mr Vucic can carry out that policy depends on whether the EU and the US accept Belgrade’s non-alignment with sanctions, Damjanovic said, adding that the pressure was on. will increase on Serbian public opinion and its dependence on Russian energy.

Russian companies own the majority Serbia’s energy sector, the largest gas storage facility, and controls the country’s gas supplies through the new Turkey Stream pipeline. Serbia’s long-term gas supply agreement will have to be renegotiated in July.

Vucic will also benefit from .’s victory close ally, prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, who was also re-elected on Sunday.

“Vucic will certainly be pleased with Orban’s victory, as the Hungarian leader has been a strong supporter of Vucic and Serbia in the EU,” Damjanovic said.

Before the Ukrainian war replaced other issues, the Serbs opposed Vucic in a variety of ways protest about inadequate environmental protection and perceived leniency towards multinational companies, forcing Vucic to about face about one of the country’s largest investment projects, a lithium mine.

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