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Apr 04, 2022 10:22 EEST
April 4 (SeeNews) - Serbia's incumbent president Aleksandar Vucic secured a second term in office after winning an outright victory in Sunday's elections, while the ruling coalition led by his populist conservative Serbian Progressive Party, SNS, took the majority of votes for parliament, preliminary official results showed on Monday.
In the presidential race, Vucic won 59.55% of the vote, the national electoral commission said after having processed 86.99% of the ballots. The contender, retired military general Zdravko Ponos, was backed by 17.53% of the voters.
"Serbia has chosen the way of peace and stability, and will continue to walk down that road," Vucic told a news conference after polls closed, adding that it is important that FDI levels are maintained.
In its foreign policy, Serbia has been trying to balance between the EU and its close ties with Russia and has abstained from condemning the war in Ukraine. At the same time, large Chinese investments in the country over the past years have raised concern about the Asian country's growing economic influence.
Based on a 86.48% sample, the SNS won 43.57%, and its coalition partner, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), won 11.81% of the votes the early parliamentary election, the electoral commission also said.
The two largest opposition lists, United for Serbia's Victory, and a coalition of green parties We must, won 12.96% and 4.29% of the votes, respectively.
A total of eight parties will enter the parliament, according to the latest data.
The turnout stood at 58.48% for the early general elections, and at 58.54% for the presidential elections.
The elections come amid heightened economic risks from the war in Ukraine, accusations of corruption and authoritarianism by the opposition and independent watchdogs, and growing pressure from environmentalists.
Vucic has been a de-facto leader of Serbia for around ten years, called the snap vote less than two years after SNS won regular parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition in what is largely seen as a move to cement his power.
However, support for SNS has fallen from 2020, when the party won 60.65% of the vote, amid a boycott of the election by the main opposition parties.
As opposed to 188 MPs in the 250-seat parliament won in 2020, SNS will now have 121 representative in the legislative body, according to the preliminary data.
Final official results are expected late on Monday.
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