Serbia's President Aleksandar Vuvic dissolves Parliament, calls for early polls

Nov 02, 2023 02:28 PM IST

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic dissolved parliament on Wednesday due to emerging political pressure at home and from the European Union, Serbia will hold a snap parliamentary vote with parallel local elections on December 17.

Belgrade [Serbia], November 2 (ANI): Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic dissolved parliament due to emerging political pressure at home and from the European Union and called for a snap parliamentary vote with parallel local elections on December 17.

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Less than two years after the victory of the Serbian Progressive Party at the polls, the leader of the party, President Vucic, was forced to dissolve parliament on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported.

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Serbia are making a play to join the European Union (EU), to join the other 27 countries in the supranational political and economic union.

Joining the European Union will mean that Serbia will have to follow its guidelines including, sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, tackling organised crime and corruption, and strengthening the rule of law and human rights.

The president and the Serbian Progressive Party, have led Serbia since 2012, however, they have been accused by protesters of promoting a culture of violence while cracking down on media and electoral freedom, reports Al Jazeera.

This follows reports of back-to-back shootings in May that killed 18 people. Several pro-EU parties in Serbia have said the government had ignored protesters' demands to call for new elections.

On Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported that a pro-EU party in Serbia proclaimed, "Serbia is in a deep political and social crisis," they said. "The demands of those who have been protesting for months were ignored. We need responsible people in politics who will solve problems instead of ignoring them." These calls for new elections have now been accepted with the dissolution of Vucic's parliament.

Attempts to join the European Union are also being stalled by tensions between Serbia and Kosovo. Kosovo is recognized by more than 100 countries, yet Serbia still perceives Kosovo as a southern province.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said on Tuesday during a visit to Belgrade that "Serbia and Kosovo must make more progress if they want EU membership, Al Jazeera reports.

Major animosities remain between Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), with the outbreak of war between February 1998 and June 1999, resulting in an estimated 10,000 people dying in the conflict.

The war climaxed with NATO troops becoming involved, leading to Yugoslavian ) forces withdrawing from the area; NATO troops have been stationed in Kosovo ever since.

Tensions flared again in September following the outbreak of violence in northern Kosovo, that resulted in Serbian troops being sent to the Kosovan border.

Experts believe that the absence of a working parliament will allow Vucic to buy time and delay decisions over ties with independent Kosovo, whilst he prepares for a European Union bid. (ANI)

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