Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on April 27 that his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) will definitely form a new government with the ethnic Hungarian party Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians(SVM), though whether the coalition will have other partners is not known yet.
Serbia held an early parliamentary election as well as regular local and regional elections in its autonomous northern province Vojvodina on April 24. According to the latest data from the Republican Electoral Commission (RIK) published on April 26 and based on ballots from 98.56% of polling stations, Vucic’s SNS managed to win 48.26% of the vote, which will give the party around 131 seats in the 250-seat parliament, actually a decrease from its current 148 seats. This is because after the 2014 election only seven parties and coalitions passed the threshold to enter the parliament, so more seats were left to share out between those who did, while in next four years 12 electoral lists will most likely participate in the new Serbian parliament.
A coalition with the SVM would give the SNS a majority of 135 deputies, Vucic remarked, speaking in the town of Indjija at a ceremony to launch the construction works of German automotive seat heating systems producer IGB Automotive's new production facility on April 27, local media reported.
“I do not even think about going for over 190 mandates because it would mean numerous compromises I'm not planning to deal with. Coalition with the SVM is the only certain thing for now; the rest remains to be seen," Vucic said.
The SNS and SVM will also be partners in Vojvodina’s government where, according to Vucic, his party would undoubtedly try to create an even broader coalition.
According to the Provincial Electoral Commission (PIK) data based on counts from 97.7% of polling stations and 97.98% of votes, SNS took 44.5% of the vote and 63 seats in Vojvodina’s 120-seat assembly, while SVM won 4.87% of votes and six seats.
Other parties to be represented in Vojvodina’s parliament are the Democratic Party (DS) with 7.24%, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) with 8.85%, League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV) with 6.43%, the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) with 7.66%, Enough is Enough movement (DJB) with 5.54%, as well as two minority parties, Hungarian Movement for Autonomy and the Green Party.
The SVM had been expected to join Vucic in the new regional government, as both sides already announced coalition plans. In addition, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban openly supported the SNS’ election campaign.
While SNS gained a new four-year mandate in the national election, the result in Vojvodina is seen as the real victory for the party, which was not previously part of the regional government led by the Democratic Party.
Vucic announced Serbia will get a new national government at the latest 15 days after the parliament has been constituted. Earlier this week, the PM said this would happen after the party's own assembly, scheduled for May 28. The parliament must hold its first sitting within 30 days of the publishing of final election results, which should occur by midnight on April 28. The legal deadline to form a new government is 90 days after the assembly has been constituted.
The latest election data show that the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), led by recently released from The Hague ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj and another far-right group, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS)-Dveri coalition, managed to pass the 5% threshold and get back to parliament after losing all their seats in 2014.
Seselj’s SRS won 8.09% of the vote, which should ensure them around 22 seats, while DSS-Dveri, which barely sneaked over 5%, will likely have 13 seats.
The LDP-SDS-LSV coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Socialistic Democratic Party (SDS) and League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV) also managed to pass the threshold and is expected to have 13 MPs.
The Enough is Enough (DJB) movement will enter the parliament for the first time after taking 6.03% of the vote. It will have around 16 MPs.
The Democratic Party won 6.04%, which ensures the party will also have 16 seats, while the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), previously the SNS' colaition partner, will have around 29 representatives in the parliament after taking 10.98% of the vote.
The remaining seats will be held by representatives of the five minority parties: the Hungarians in Vojvodina party, Savez vojvodjanskih Madjara (SVM), the Party of Democratic Action of Sandzak and the Bosniak Democratic Community of Sandzak (both Bosniak minority parties), the Party for Democratic Action and the Green Party.