Apr 4, 2022 - World

Serbia's President Vučić claims re-election victory

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's president, speaks during an election night event
Aleksandar Vučić speaks during an election night event at the Serbian Progressive Party headquarters in Belgrade, Serbia, on April 3. Photo: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić and his populist Serbian Progressive Party are projected to win landslide victories in Sunday's elections.

Why it matters: Under Vučić's leadership, Serbia has fostered close ties with Russia and China, while seeking membership in the European Union.

  • Serbia voted to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the UN, but it has not imposed sanctions against Russia.

The big picture: With 87.67% of the ballots counted, Vučić had won 59.5% of the votes, the State Election Commission announced on Monday, per CNN.

  • The decisive win means there will be no need to hold a second-round runoff and Vučić secures another five-year term.
  • Opposition presidential candidate Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general representing the pro-European and centrist Alliance for Victory coalition, came in second place with just 17.1% of the votes, while the United for Victory alliance garnered a mere 12.9%, Reuters reported.
  • Vučić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won 43.4% of the votes in the parliamentary election. The Socialist Party of Serbia — a longtime coalition partner of the SNS — won 11.7%, giving the government a clear majority, per CNN.

Between the lines: The Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA), a local NGO and official elections observer, said in a statement Monday that its representatives observed voting irregularities at 12% of polling stations in Serbia.

What they're saying: “A huge thank you to the citizens of Serbia,” Vučić said in a speech Sunday, per Al Jazeera. “I am endlessly proud and endlessly happy.”

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Vučić on his victory Sunday, which he said showed there was “broad public support” for Serbia's independent foreign policies and would help bolster the “strategic partnership” between Russia and Serbia, AP reported.

The big picture: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also claimed victory in his country's elections on Sunday.

  • Preliminary results show Orbán's Fidesz party won 53.1% of votes, with 98% of ballots counted, electing him to a fourth term, per the BBC.
  • "We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents," said the far-right leader, naming political rivals on the Hungarian left, Brussels "bureaucrats," international media "and the Ukrainian president too."
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