Ruling Serbian Progressive Party set for largest share of votes in March 16 election – polls

Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is set for the largest share of votes in the country’s snap national parliamentary elections on March 16 2014, opinion polls say, but he has said that a coalition government will be formed even if his party wins an absolute majority.

The late January announcement of early elections was widely seen as motivated by the SNS wanting a fresh mandate for economic and social reforms.

A recent poll saw the SNS as set to get about 44 per cent of the votes and a coalition around the socialists about 13 per cent while all other parties would get less than 10 per cent. The threshold for entry to the Serbian parliament is five per cent.

Public opinion polls saw either Dragan Djilas’s Democratic Party or the New Democratic Party, led by former Democratic Party member and former president Boris Tadic, as competing for the third-largest share of the votes on March 16.

A few days ahead of the vote, Vucic said that his party would not form a single-party government even if it won an absolute majority, saying that the SNS wanted a “wider national consensus” on reforms.

He said that talks on other possible participants in a new government would held only after the results of the elections were clear.

A total of 250 members of parliament are being chosen, on a date originally set for municipal elections in Belgrade and four other Serbian towns.

Polling stations are scheduled to close at 8pm Central European Time.

Serbs in Kosovo will be able to vote in Serbia’s extraordinary parliamentary elections, the Independent Balkan News Agency reported on March 13.

Ninety ballot centres will open for voting, said Veljko Odalovic of the Central Election Commission of Serbia.

In the elections which are expected to be held on March 16, 107 958 Serb citizens who live in Kosovo will be able to vote in 17 communes. Odalovic said that the OSCE is making all preparations, securing the electoral material.





The Sofia Globe staff

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