Serbia’s Conservative Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has won the country’s presidential election, according to projections.
As vote counting come close to an end for Sunday’s polls, Vucic seems to have gained over 55 percent of the votes in a landslide victory.
His challengers, Sasa Jankovic and Ljubisa Preletacevic, have ended up with 16.2 percent and nine percent of the votes, respectively. He will officially begin his mostly ceremonial role by the end of May, but is expected to maintain his power over the country as the leader of Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party.
Vucic became prime minster after his party won the 2014 parliamentary elections. He served as Serbia’s information minister during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
Presidential candidate Luka Maksimovic (1st-R), alias Beli (Ljubisa) Preletacevic, walks to a polling station in Mladenovac near Belgrade on April 2, 2017.
When the exit polls were announced, Vucic made it clear that his new post would not alter the country’s geopolitical balance in the EU as the pro-Russian Serb is in favor of joining the bloc. “For me it is important this election demonstrated that a large majority of Serbian citizens favors the continuation of the European path while maintaining close ties with China and Russia,” said Vucic while addressing his supporters. He also thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he had met while still campaigning. —Agencies