World media react to Vučić’s election win

The world’s leading news agencies reported yesterday evening on the parliamentary elections held in Serbia, saying that the party of the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, had a landslide victory and that the main opposition parties boycotted the vote.

The American news agency, Associated Press wrote that the President of Serbia “reported a convincing victory of his right-wing party in the elections, which were held amidst concern about the coronavirus contagion and a boycott of most of the opposition parties.”

The AP goes on to write that “the initial unofficial results indicate that Serbia will have a unique assembly, with virtually no opposition and only three or four parties out of the 21 which were running. Vucic’s allied Socialists are slated to get 10% for the second place in the vote.”

The AP also reports that “several main opposition groups boycotted the vote. But a number of smaller parties decided to run, saying the boycott would only sideline an already marginalized opposition.A group of opposition parties that boycotted the vote said the low turnout showed that the majority of Serbia’s citizens did not support Vucic and his party. Opposition leaders said Serbia was in a deep crisis which needs to be solved peacefully.”

Political analyst Florian Bieber said on Twitter that Vucic’s party beat Russia’s ruling party United Russia ”to the largest ruling party majority in Europe after Belarus.”

The European Union can’t pretend that today’s “farce of an election” didn’t happen in Serbia, he tweeted.

France-Presse and France 24 report that “the sweeping success was helped by a boycott from the country’s main opposition camp, who decried the elections as neither free nor fair under Vucic’s domineering reign. But despite their stay-at-home campaign and lingering concerns about the coronavirus, turnout was lower than normal—but not dramatically—at slightly under 50 per cent according to the independent election monitor CRTA. The boycotting opposition slammed the “fake elections” and claimed their movement was victorious.”

Pre-electoral analysis by Biagio Carrano: click here to read it!

France 24 also quotes Serbian political analyst Dusan Spasojevic who describes Serbia’s elections as a form of “competitive autocracy”.

“There is a competition but participants are not equal,” he explained of a playing field warped by Vucic’s outsized influence.

Reuters reports that “voters largely back efforts by Vucic’s ruling coalition to push for Serbian membership of the European Union while maintaining strong ties with Russia and China. But the future government will face increasing EU and U.S. pressure to recognise the independence of Serbia’s former province of Kosovo, a move seen as key for regional stability.”

The news agency also cites Slobodan Zecevic, a lecturer of international law with the Belgrade-based European University, who said:” “If we take into account number of votes (the SNS got)… we are heading to a North Korean or Chinese result in elections.”

The Russian agency TASS also reported that the Progressives won the election, citing the RIK results which show that the SNS won 63.35% of votes.  

TASS also states that no serious violations were detected at the election and that protection measures were respected due to the virus epidemic.

The Chinese agency Xinhua said that Serbia is the first country in Europe to hold election since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and that the Progressives and the Socialists are the only two parties that won double-digit voter support.

The Spanish news agency EFE also reported about the SNS’ win in Serbia, adding, that the SPS, which until now has been a member of the ruling coalition, won the second highest number of votes.

(Novi Magazin, 22.06.2020)


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