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News 16 Oct 17

Serbia President Hints at Early General Elections

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic raised the possibility of holding early parliamentary elections in 2018 in an interview with the state-owned daily Vecernje novosti, published on Monday.

Filip Rudic
BIRN
Belgrade
President Aleksandar Vucic. Photo: Beta/AP/Darko Vojinovic

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has declined to rule out early parliamentary elections in 2018 if the opposition "gives good reasons" for holding them them.

"I hear that some are calling for elections, and if they insist, I won’t shrink from a fight," Vucic told Milorad Vucelic editor of the newspaper Vecernje novosti in an interview published on Monday.

Vucic did not specify who in the opposition was calling for snap elections. Parliament is currently controlled by Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party.

On Thursday, the speaker of parliament, Maja Gojkovic, also from the Progressive Party, said the opposition wanted new elections, also without specifying who she was talking about.

If they are staged, it would be the fourth parliamentary election in  Serbia in only six years and the third early election since 2014.

Serbia held parliamentary elections in 2012, 2014, and 2016, which the Progressives won in coalition with the Socialist Party, easily crushing the once dominant but now enfeebled Democratic Party.

Serbia also had regular presidential elections this year, which Vucic won in the first round, with over 50 percent of the votes.

Regular local elections in Belgrade are due in March 2018, even though the Progressives have hinted that they, too, may be held early, in December.

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