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Dec 18, 2023 11:04 EEST
December 18 (SeeNews) - The populist conservative Serbian Progressive Party, SNS, of president Aleksandar Vucic won 46.92% of the votes in Sunday's early general election, strengthening its control of the country's parliament, preliminary official results showed.
The pro-European Serbia Against Violence coalition garnered 23.28% of the votes, based on a sample of 7,808 out of 8,273 polling stations, the electoral commission said.
The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), a partner of SNS in the current government coalition, was backed by 6.61%, according to the electoral commission. Together, the two formations would have an absolute majority in the 250-seat parliament.
“This is an absolute victory which makes me extremely happy. We know what we have achieved in the previous period and how tough a period lies ahead,” Vucic said, as seen in a video posted on the YouTube channel of news agency Tanjug.
According to opposition parties, however, the elections were fraught with irregularities.
“What happened today is not something we can accept as an outcome of a democratic and fair election,” said Serbia Against Violence party member, Miroslav Aleksic, in a video posted on the website of media outlet N1.
Vucic, who is no longer officially SNS leader, has dominated the Serbian political scene in the past decade. He called the snap vote in November, a year and a half after SNS won the last parliamentary election held in April 2022.
Sunday's elections come against the backdrop of a wave of protests which began in May, prompted by a mass shooting at a primary school. Protesters claim that the SNS-led government has allowed a culture of violence to spread throughout society, indirectly leading to the school shooting.
Another two formations crossed the 3% threshold for entry into parliament - Hope for Serbia (NDSS) with 5.01% support and Vote of the People with 4.67% backing, according to the preliminary official results.
Voter turnout stood at 58.64%.
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