Serbia's Ruling Party On Course To Form Country's Next Government
President's Ruling Party Scores Comfortable but Controversial Victory in Serbia's Snap Elections

December 19, 2023
The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of incumbent President Aleksandar Vučić has won the country’s snap parliamentary elections with 47% of the vote and is set to form the country’s next government. Voters went to the polls to on 17 December to decide on the future composition of the National Assembly, the Vojvodina provincial parliament and 65 local assemblies, including the capital Belgrade. The opposition is contesting the results of the Belgrade election, with reports of irregularities coming from both international and domestic election observers.

The pro-European Serbia Against Violence (SPN), SNS’ main competitor, which is a coalition born out of the anti-violence protests following the country’s first ever mass shootings in May, came second in the election with close to 24% of the vote. The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), a traditional SNS ally, fell short of expectations, securing only 6.6%.

While the pro-EU opposition ran under a single banner, the right-wing factions failed to unite, resulting in fragmented support and several parties falling below the 3% threshold. Among those that passed the threshold for parliament were the conservative National Democratic Alternative (NADA) coalition and the "We - Voice from the People" (MI) party. Led by Branimir Nestorović, a pulmonologist known for spreading anti-vaccine and conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic, MI has become the biggest surprise of this snap electoral contest.

In Belgrade, the difference between the main contenders was significantly smaller, with SNS winning around 39% and SPN 34% of the city vote. NADA, MI and SPS also managed to pass the 3% threshold. MI is likely to be the ultimate kingmaker in the race for Belgrade, although Nestorović has announced that his party will be joining neither coalition. Claiming widespread fraud in Belgrade, the opposition is demanding a repeat election, which could see a more consolidated right-wing opposition front and closer international scrutiny in terms of future irregularities. At the time of writing, the country remains in deep political crisis with protests gathering outside the electoral commission each evening and no clear path to resolving the deadlock.
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