ShareThis Page
World

Pro-European Union party wins big in Serbian election

| Sunday, March 16, 2014, 5:36 p.m.

BELGRADE, Serbia — In a parliamentary election on Sunday, Serbs gave a landslide victory to the ruling center-right party that has vowed to overhaul the nation's struggling economy and push for membership in the European Union, according to an independent poll.

The Belgrade-based CeSID polling group said the Serbian Progressive Party won about 160 seats in in the country's 250-seat parliament. Its coalition partner in the Serbian government, the Serbian Socialist Party, came in second, with about 50 seats.

The rest of the seats went to the pro-Western Democratic Party and the New Democratic Party of former President Boris Tadic, the two groups that split up before the vote.

It was one of the most convincing victories by a party since the multiparty system was introduced in Serbia in the 1990s.

The Progressives are expected to choose their leader Aleksandar Vucic — a former hard-line, pro-Russian nationalist who has become a pro-EU advocate — as prime minister.

The vote arrived as Serbia, a longtime international pariah for fomenting wars in the Balkans in the 1990s, is officially seeking entry into the EU, amid deep economic problems and simmering social discontent because of plunging living standards.

Serbia this year opened membership talks with the EU after signing a deal normalizing ties with Kosovo, a former province that split in 2008, but whose independence Serbia refuses to recognize.

Vucic says he needs a strong mandate to carry out painful reforms needed to help Serbia's economy, which has been ravaged by mismanagement, wars and international sanctions.

The opposition has accused him of seeking to introduce a Russian-type, hard-line leadership in Serbia by assuming dominant powers in the state, which is deeply split between pro-Russian and pro-Western sentiment.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me