SNS leader and Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic has declared his victory in the presidential elections held in Serbia on Sunday, April 2.

Vučić won Serbia’s presidential election yesterday by a huge margin, confirming his domination of the Balkan country as he pursues a delicate balancing act between Europe and Russia.

Vučić, 47, avoided a run-off by taking around 55% of votes; his nearest rival, opposition candidate and former rights advocate Sasa Janković, trailed on just over 16%, according to a two projections by polling groups CRTA and Ipsos.

Vučić will take on the largely ceremonial post at the end of May but is expected to retain de facto power through his control of Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party.

The result marked a political humiliation for Serbia’s beleaguered opposition parties, which say Vučić’s rule is increasingly autocratic.

Vučić made clear his change of job would not alter the former Yugoslav republic’s geopolitical balance between the European Union, which Vučić wants Serbia to join, and Russia, with which Serbs share their Orthodox Christian faith and Slavic heritage.

The Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) announced on Monday that based on 92 percent of electoral material, Vucic won 55.1 percent of the vote – i.e., 1,845,736 votes.

He is followed by Sasa Jankovic (16.27 percent – 545,039 votes), Luka Maksimovic (9.44 – 316,068), Vuk Jeremic (5.64 – 189,052), and Vojislav Seselj (4.47 – 149,578).

Bosko Obradovic received 2.3 percent (76,918 votes), Sasa Radulovic 1.41 percent (47,325), Milan Stamatovic 1.2 percent (40,345), Nenad Canak 1.14 percent (38,244), Aleksandar Popovic 1.04 percent (34,987), while Miroslav Parovic placed last (0.32 percent – 10,651 votes).

The turnout was 54.6 percent of all registered voters.

Late on Sunday, CeSID and Ipsos pollsters announced that the ruling coalition’s candidate had won over 50 percent of all cast ballots.

CeSID said that based on a sample of 93.3 pct of cast votes, Vucic won 55.7 percent.

Based on the same sample, Sasa Jankovic won 15.6 percent, while Luka Maksimovic received 9.6 percent of the vote.

They are followed Vuk Jeremic (5.7 percent), Vojislav Seselj (4.5), Bosko Obradovic (2.2), Sasa Radulovic (1.3), Milan Stamatovic (1.1), Nenad Canak (1.1), Aleksandar Popovic (1.1), Miroslav Parovic (0.3).

The agency estimated the turnout at around 53 percent.

CeSID said that these results can now only change by one to two percent, without changing the result – Vucic has become Serbia’s president in the first round of voting.

Polling stations that opened at 07:00 CET on Sunday across Serbia closed this evening at 20:00 CET.

No major irregularities have been reported.

There were 6,724,949 registered voters who were eligible to vote in one of the 8,396 polling stations.

In Kosovo and Metohija, the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) designated 90 polling stations for 105,929 registered voters.

29 more were opened today in prisons, where a total of 9.326 citizens were eligible to cast their votes.

53 additional polling stations were located abroad for 11,590 registered citizens of Serbia. The voting took place on Saturday in Britain, Canada, and the US

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