Serbian PM Vucic decides against early parliamentary elections

Serbian PM Vucic decides against early parliamentary elections
By bne IntelliNews February 28, 2017

Serbia will not hold early parliamentary elections alongside the regular presidential elections this spring, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on February 27, the government announced.

Vucic, who is also the presidential candidate of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), said earlier in February he was considering snap elections, which would almost certainly have extended the party’s mandate until 2021. Since the SNS came to power in 2012, Vucic has twice called early elections.

However, Vucic told reporters on February 27 that, “There are no reasons to hold early parliamentary elections since Serbia has a stable majority that works well in the parliament.” 

The next parliamentary elections will be held in 2020 and presidential elections in 2022, "just like in all stable European democracies", he added. 

“Serbia went through the most difficult period when it had several extraordinary parliamentary elections, because it was necessary to check people’s support for reforms at difficult moments. Support for reforms was necessary in difficult times when making fiscal consolidation measures, to see whether people stand by you, whether they understand why you did something,” the prime minister explained.

“For that reason, those elections were important, but today there is no need for them,” he said.

Vucic decided to call early parliamentary elections in April 2016, just two years after he started his first term, explaining he wanted a new full term and citizens’ support to finish economic reforms and the EU integration process, which are the two main objectives of his new government.

The SNS electoral list won 131 of the 250 parliament seats in the early election on April 24, 2016. The new government is supported by the SNS and all its pre-election coalition partners, its junior coalition partner in the previous government the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and several minority parties including the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM). Both the SPS and the SVM are part of the new government.

Between 2012 until 2014, the SNS was the largest party in the government but agreed that SPS president Ivica Dacic could become prime minister. However, in 2014 Vucic quit the coalition and called an election so that citizens could endorse him as prime minister.

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