The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, led his party to a landslide victory in the elections and secured a large majority in the parliament of a country which is at the centre of a struggle for influence among global super-powers, wrote Bloomberg.
Helped by the boycott of opposition leaders, and a turnout which was affected by fear of the coronavirus, the election result is enough for Vučić’s SNS party to change the laws in the Parliament as they please and without hindrance, Bloomberg reports, underlining that Vučić’s party has a stronger majority in parliament than the ruling parties throughout Europe, except Russia and Belarus.
The victory will enable Vučić to solidify his political dominance in the country, which began when he went from fiery nationalist to pro-European Premier in 2014.
Bloomberg goes on to say that that the government will be given a new mandate to address the difficult issues of economic recovery after the coronavirus, improved relations with Kosovo and the uncertain path towards EU membership.
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Vučić’s biggest battle will be related to his efforts to lead the country towards the EU membership, where the Kosovo issue remains an obstacle as official Brussels demands that Serbia should improve relations with its neighbour as a condition for the EU accession, while Vučić has spent years preventing Kosovo from gaining international recognition, and supported in this by most Serbs.
However, pressure for an agreement is increasing, Bloomberg writes and adds that US President Donald Trump’s envoy Richard Grenell convinced Vučić to meet his Kosovar counterpart at the White House on 27 June. Before that, Vučić will meet the EU envoy who is trying to renew negotiations through Brussels mediation, and then travel to Russia to meet his great ally, Vladimir Putin.
Kommersant: Vučić now has to make a choice…
The Russian daily, Kommersant writes that the Serbian Progressive Party of President Aleksandar Vučić has won by an absolute majority which will give a free reign to the party to implement any decision it wants, including those related to the Kosovo issue.
Kommersant states that experts believe that an amendment of the Serbian Constitution and the removal of the preamble referring to Kosovo’s status is a number one condition for the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, on which the West insists.
Kommersant also reports that the only question now is how Vučić will use the parliamentary majority, since the prospect of Serbia’s accession to the EU and the financial influence of the West on the Serbian economy depend on his election.
Russia is also carefully making for Vučić to make a choice, since Russia is against the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Priština, as it would pave the way for Kosovo and Serbia to join the EU and NATO. Preserving the current state will allow Moscow to continue to realistically influence the course of the political game in the Balkans.
The analysis shows that Vučić is in a position where any decision taken will lead to a worsening of his position.
“If he accepts Russia’s position, he will position himself against the US and the EU. If he succumbs to persuasion and pressure from Washington, he will lose his cooperation with Moscow. Prolonged resistance to the EU will cause serious disappointment in the US and Russia,” the newspaper concludes.
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