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article imageSerbian PM re-elected but faces growing opposition

By AFP     May 6, 2016 in Politics

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic won a sweeping victory at April 24 polls, but now faces stronger opposition than in the past two years including by far right parties, official results showed Friday.

The final results were delayed by a week as the electoral commission ordered a repeat vote at 15 out of more than 8,000 polling stations due to irregularities reported by both Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and opposition groups.

The SNS-led coalition won 48.25 percent of votes, but it will have 131 members in the 250-seat parliament, down from 158 in the last polls, as more groups passed the five percent vote threshold.

After four years, the elections brought back to the parliament ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party of Vojislav Seselj, which became third strongest party with 8.1 percent votes won.

The far right will also be represented by DSS-Dveri, which won 5.04 percent of the votes.

The two ultranationalist forces openly oppose Serbia's bid to join the European Union and strongly advocate for closer ties with Russia.

Other opposition groups, including the pro-European Democratic Party and a liberal coalition led by former president Boris Tadic, also won seats in the parliament, along with several minority parties, results showed.

Vucic has said he will form a government by June 8 and that he will seek to create a broad coalition, despite the majority he enjoys in the parliament.

His prospective coalition partners in the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) came second with 10.95 percent of votes.

The 46-year-old leader controversially called the election two years ahead of schedule, saying he wanted a clear mandate to implement reforms needed for Serbia to join the European Union.

His critics, however, accused him of attempting to consolidate and prolong his power.

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