Belgrade, Dec 18 (EFE).- The party of Serbia’s populist president Aleksandar Vucic, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), has comfortably won Sunday’s parliamentary elections, the country’s Electoral Commission (RIK) said.
With 94% of ballots counted on Monday morning, the RIK confirmed SNS had secured 47% of the vote, well ahead of its main rival, the Serbian Against Violence (SPN) opposition alliance – made up of 12 different parties that joined forces ahead of the elections – which garnered just 23.27%.
Exit polls had projected a strong SNS victory, with Vucic, who was not running in the election, saying “the result is clear, we will have an absolute majority” during a press conference Sunday night.
In addition to the legislative election Sunday, voters were also asked to elect mayors in 65 municipalities, including the capital Belgrade, where the SPN also unexpectedly lost out to the SNS.
The opposition on Monday accused the ruling party of rigging the mayoral vote in Belgrade and called for a recount.
“The electoral will of the Belgraders has been drastically changed in this way. We demand the annulment of the municipal elections in Belgrade and the re-run of the mayoral elections,” the SPN said in a statement, calling for a “cleansing” of the electoral roll as a first step.
The SPN called for a demonstration in front of the mayor’s office and the RIK headquarters on Monday afternoon.
The SPN is a loose coalition of center-left, green and center-right and pro-European parties, which united for the first time in the run-up to the elections.
Its members coordinated mass protests in Serbia after two shootings in May that left 19 people dead.
Russia welcomed the results, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling a daily press conference that Moscow hopes they will “facilitate the republic’s further development” and continue the “course toward the further strengthening of our friendship;” according to Russian state media TASS. EFE