Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic may call yet another early general election in spring 2019, following mass protests against him on December 8, local media reported.
Although Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has been the largest party in the Serbian parliament for years, Vucic has repeatedly resorted to snap elections to strengthen his position.
Several thousand people held a peaceful rally in Serbia’s capital Belgrade last Saturday against what they called the “autocratic” rule of Vucic and his government. The protest came after a leader of the small opposition leftist party Levica Srbije, Borko Stefanovic, was beaten up, an attack that opposition politicians claim was linked to the SNS, though this has been denied by the party.
Vucic reportedly talked about the possibility of calling early general elections with close associates from the SNS on December 10.
“Vucic told officials from his party that he was ready, immediately after calling local elections on December 16, to take a decision on early parliamentary elections,” daily Blic cited a source as saying on December 11.
The president asked all the party’s bodies to be ready for an election.
Unofficially, Vucic told the party’s leadership that "he will not tolerate the pressure and blackmail of the street protestors, particularly at a time when tensions with Kosovo are on the rise.”
A final decision on the early vote might be taken by the end of the next week.
If it takes place, this will be the fourth election since the SNS came to power in 2012. The previous, also snap, election was held in April 2016 and a new regular vote is due in 2020.
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