BELGRADE, Serbia, April 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) today won a new electoral mandate to pursue what it terms the European path, and its goals of strengthened democracy and legal reform, claiming 51% of the vote according to preliminary results. If confirmed by the official results, to be announced on April 28, this would mean a renewed SNS majority in the Serbian parliament.
Having first been elected to head a majority government in 2014, Mr. Vučić called the early election because he said he needed four more years to enact the deep reforms needed to meet his objective of readiness for EU membership by 2020. During the campaign he called on voters to support Serbia's European path, without abandoning her traditional allies. He also indicated that there will be early steps to restructure his government, including a number of cabinet changes.
"This election today is a vote for a future of prosperity," Mr. Vučić told the press as the extent of his party's victory became plain. "We are moving now on a path from stabilization to prosperity. It will not be easy, it will not happen overnight, but I am sure it is possible and achievable and I am committed to lead this path."
The Vučić government is credited with taking strong steps against corruption, including institutional reforms of the judicial and law enforcement systems. On the economy, liberalized tax and company formation policies have helped make Serbia more attractive for inward investment, leading this year to a marked rise in its ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index, from 91st to 59th place. Following six years of contraction, the economy grew 0.8 per cent last year. Meanwhile, unemployment has fallen to 17.3 per cent from a peak of 23.9 per cent in 2012. Over the past two years, 120,000 new jobs were created.
"We have no time for celebrations," Mr. Vučić said. "The new government will have a huge responsibility and a lot of work and we would like to form it as soon as possible. We will speak to all those who would like to speak with us, who would like to share our program."
About the Serbian Progressive Party
Founded in 2008 by a breakaway group from the Serbian Radical Party, the SNS aimed to draw a line under the country's challenging post-war legacy in order to pursue Serbia's ambitious plans towards membership of the European Union. Building on the strength of its partnerships with its neighbours, Serbia under Mr. Vučić's leadership aims to see EU entry by 2020 and position itself as a key political and economic player in Europe.
SOURCE Serbian Progressive Party