The Serbian Progressive Party is heading for a crushing victory in elections. It has won about 50 per cent of votes and, thanks to the electoral system, this will give it enough seats in parliament to rule Serbia on its own.
The country went to the polls on Sunday in snap elections which all opinion polls forecast would give more power to Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party.
According to the first preliminary results based on 62 per cent of votes the Progressives claimed they had 49.3 per cent, the Socialists 13.9 per cent, the New Democratic Party of Boris Tadic 6.1 per cent and the Democratic Party 5.3 per cent.
According to the first preliminary results of the Center for Free Election and Democracy, CeSID, the Progressives have won about 48.8 per cent, the Socialists led coalition of 14 per cent, the Democrats 5.9, and the New Democratic Party 5.7 per cent.
According to these per cents the distribution of seats in the 250 seat parliament would be: Progressives 157 seats, Socialists led coalition would have 45 seats, the Democrats 19 seats, the New Democrats of Boris Tadic 18 seats, Vojvodina Hungarians 7 seats, SDA 3 seats and ethnic Albanian representative one seat.
Marko Blagojevic of CeSID said: "It seems that the Progressives will win an absolute majority of votes."
In his victory speech Aleksandar Vucic thanked the people of Serbia for the "huge support you have given us, the strength you have given us to achieve the best result in 25 years. We will not humiliate anyone because of the results. We want to hear from everyone their ideas, and we are prepared to speak to all relevant parties. But we have confirmed our main partnership which is with the people of Serbia. Serbia has a future in which its children will live much better than they do today."
Vucic continued that it will not be easy to get there but "we have an opportunity to show we can be different, we can work more, we can be more responsible."
"I am sure that Serbia will continue its European path, its struggle against corruption but this government will be mainly dealing with the problem of unemployment and by the middle of our mandate I am certain you will see the results."
Former wartime nationalist turned EU membership advocate Vucic has promised reforms that will help the country join the European club and create prosperity, but could also signal austerity measures and redundancies for workers in the country’s huge public sector.
Vucic was the deputy prime minister in the last government coalition but is widely believed to covet the senior role in the next administration.
His party has won public support for its moves against corruption but he has also been accused of seeking to concentrate too much power in his own hands.
The only other parties that have passed the threshold of 5 per cent are the Democratic Party and the New Democratic Party.
It is still not clear whether the right wing movement Dveri is going to pass the threshold.
Turnout at the polls was relatively low compared to the last parliamentary elections, with 50.3 per cent of voters casting their ballots by 7pm, according to the state election commission, a fall of 3.3 per cent on the 2012 vote.
The snap polls, which were called two years early by the outgoing administration led by the Progressives, who were seeking to extend their control of the country, cost an estimated 10 million euro to stage.