Serbia is likely to hold an early election next year in response to growing pressure from opposition parties, President Aleksandar Vucic said late Sunday in a TV appearance.
“We’ll have an election, I am ready,” Vucic told Belgrade-based Pink television. He said the election will be called by the end of the year and will probably be on March 4 or a week earlier.
The Balkan nation’s dominant political figure, Vucic has been publicly weighing an early election for months in the face of mounting criticism over his authoritarian leadership and domestic issue such as gun violence. Opposition forces have meandered over the merits of a fresh contest, with a new election potentially consolidating his authority.
Vucic has a track record of calling early votes, betting that he can rally his Progressive party base to victory. The election would be the third in the nation of 6.8 million since 2020.
This time, Vucic and his prime minister, Ana Brnabic, are grappling with protest marches from several opposition groups that have brought tens of thousands of Serbians to the streets of Belgrade and other cities. They accuse him and the government of corruption, stifling free speech and excessive control over most institutions, including the judiciary.
In the same TV appearance, Vucic announced lower prices of another set of basic groceries including sunflower oil, margarine, certain types of biscuits, plums, pate and soap. To remind, the government has already capped the prices of 20 basic groceries.
Vucic also addressed the rumours that Aleksandar Vulin, head of the Serbian intelligence agency BIA, would be soon replaced. He said that the people who speculated Vulin would be replaced have just, by chance, extended his term in the office, adding that even if he wanted to replace him, now he can’t.
Commenting on the average salary in Serbia, Vucic said that, at the end of this year, the average salary in Serbia will be 840 euros and that he hoped that next year the average salary would be 940 euros and that the average pension by the end of 2024 would be at least 390 euros. He did not comment on the fact that the median salary (i.e. the salary of 50% of Serbian workers) is only 550 euros.
Vucic’s last TV appearance was the 200th in the last nine months.
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