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News 02 Mar 16

Serbian PM on Course for Election Landslide

Latest polls show that Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's Progressive Party is on course for a thumping win in elections called for April 24.

BIRN
Belgrade
Serbian Progressive Party meeting before the elections in 2014 | Photo: Facebook

New opinion polls from Factor Plus polling agency show that Prime Minister's Aleksandar Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party is on course for a landslide win in the next parliament.

Vucic called early elections on April 24 on Tuesday night, describing them as "a referendum on whether Serbia wants to be a modern European country in 2020, whether it wants the future or the past".

Polls show the party enjoys the support of almost half the electorate - 49 per cent. Five other blocs and parties have a good chance of entering parliament.

According to the same polls, another 11.3 per cent voters back the Progressives'  junior coalition partner, the Socialistic Party of Serbia, led by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, which would give these two a combined 60 per cent.

The opposition parties are trailing far behind in single digits. According to Factor Plus, the once governing Democratic Party has the support of only 6.4 per cent of the voters, just ahead of the extreme-right Serbian Radical Party, led by Vojislav Seselj, which is on 6 per cent.

Two other blocs, a conservative anti-NATO coalition linking the Democratic Party of Serbia and Dveri, and a centrist group of parties led by former Democratic Party leader Boris Tadic and Cedomir Jovanovic, are hovering just above the 5-per-cent threshold needed to enter parliament.

Recents attempts by the opposition to create united front against Vucic have failed, opening the way for the Progressives to win the two-thirds majority they want, which they narrowly missed achieving in the last elections, when they won 158 of the 250 seats.

"We are looking at big challenges ahead. They are not easy but if we all stay united together we can deliver on that," Vucic said.

The Prime Minister said he hoped the economy in the struggling country will pick up this year from the modest 0.8 per cent growth rate seen in 2015 - and that unemployment - now down to 16.7 per cent from 20.9 per cent in 2014 - will continue to fall.

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