The pro-Russia Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, 47, has won with a decisive 55% of the vote against two other candidates who received 16% and 9% in an election many believe was corrupt.
The 9% was earned by Luka Maksimovic, a media student who ran as a satirical candidate to mock the corruption in the election.
Vucic has repeatedly said he will not alter the former Yugoslav republic’s geopolitical balance between the European Union, which Serbia wants to join, and Russia, with which Serbs share their Orthodox Christian faith and Slavic heritage, Reuters reported.
He thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both of whom he met during the election campaign. Putin endorsed Vucic.
“For me it is important this election demonstrated that a large majority of Serbian citizens favors the continuation of the European path while maintaining close ties with China and Russia,” Vucic told cheering supporters.
He has recently moved closer to Russia on military and economic cooperation.
Reuters called him conservative but then added, [Vucic] “is expected to retain de facto power through his control of Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party.”
Are Conservatives in Serbia actually Progressives?
Vucic is expected to use the presidency to appoint a figurehead successor as prime minister and to transform the presidency into a more powerful position to consolidate his power, Radio Free Europe warned.
The victory gives Vucic and his Progressive Party, which has a majority in parliament, control over the entire legislative and governing process, and some observers and voters are concerned that could push the Balkan state back into the autocracy that Milosevic symbolized during his decade in power.
They still suffer from the political corruption of the former regime in a volatile region of the world.
Critics say Vucic is becoming increasingly autocratic.
In 2012, as Yugoslavia was dying, Vucic was Serbia’s feared information minister behind draconian legislation designed to muzzle criticism of the government during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
For Radio Free Europe, the Vucic win means increased influence by Putin over the Balkin nation.
Vucic’s opponents who ran against him agree with the protesters but haven’t joined the protest.
— Women in Revolution (@WIR_GLOBAL) April 6, 2017
— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) April 5, 2017
— Marion Dautry (@MarionDautry) April 6, 2017
— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) April 4, 2017
The protesters say the media is blocked. The comments come from reddit with pleas to get the word out.
This is Belgrade in Serbia [shows photo of protesters above]. A country where young people are leaving because there are no jobs. No future. Corruption is extremely high. People are being called at home to vote for a corrupt president. Votes are being bought. Dead people voted. People that live abrought voted. Television belongs to the state. People live on an avarage of €300 a month. Need a loan from the bank to fix the car, if they already own a car.
People are sick of it! They go outside and protest!
It’s not just the election outcome we’re unhappy about. We’re unhappy, unemployed, poor, hungry. Anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet (which is a fucktone of people) is brainwashed by the controlled media. Thousands of people go on the streets to try and grab attention, and still half the country has no idea the protests are going on. In the media they call us “a handfull of drunk hooligans”, while the other day more than 10.000 young people, parents and even some grandparents marched for hours. We’re marching every day starting 6pm, and I can only hope we change at least a tiny bit of this shitty situation we’re in.
I did contact someone I know in Belgrade and he said it is all true.