Early elections in Serbia in March

Early elections in Serbia in March


By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade

According to most of political parties and analysts early elections in Serbia would be called in March 2014, Belgrade’s “Danas” daily reported on Tuesday. Daily specified that polls would be held on March 9 or 16; at the same time local elections in Belgrade will be organized; mayor Dragan Djilas has been dismissed in September.

On Sunday, Serbian Progressive Party lists won the absolute majority at the local elections in several municipalities, including Belgrade’s Vozdovac. Calling an early elections is the subject of speculations for months; SNS emerged as the pillar party of the ruling coalition after 2012 polls, but premiership had been conceded to Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) leader Ivica Dacic. It seems that long-lasting frustration among SNS leadership with such an situation reaches its peak.

SNS top officials, including Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic, Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic and parliamentary leader Zoran Babic believe that SNS leader and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic should capitalize his record popularity “and take the full responsibility for the country”, “Danas” reported. However, Aleksandar Vucic is still hesitant over the idea.

At the same time, most of political parties strive for early elections; SPS is the only one which believes that “there is no need” for calling them, “Danas” emphasized.

“The stance of the numerous members of SNS Presidency is that early elections should be called; the party has to take the responsibility over Serbia in its full capacity; we do not need brakes men in that regard. Nevertheless, we have accepted the position of the president Aleksandar Vucic which is that we have no time for elections now; at this moment, we have to stay focused on our priority – the start of accession negotiations with the European Union”, Bratislav Gasic, SNS vice-president said.

The start of EU-Serbia accession talks is expected in January.

Djordje Vukovic, program director of NGO Center for Free Elections and Democracy, said that SNS victory at the local elections on Sunday would not be the “key motive” for party to decide whether they would go to elections; “it is difficult to explain to voters that you are calling elections just because of the party high rating”. Vukovic also said that one cannot claim that SNS would make the success equivalent to result at the local level. Sociologist Vladimir Vuletic told “Blic”daily that the chances for  elections to be called are fifty-fifty. “Elections are not called when one party wants them. It is necessary that there is some important state, political or economic reason”.