While most of the world fixes on Crimea’s sham referendum and the growing standoff between Russia and the United States, an arguably far more important vote took place in another country on Sunday with strong ties to both the European Union and Russia — Serbia.
It’s difficult to imagine that the center-right Serbian Progressive Party (SNS, Српска напредна странка) could have done much better. Following Sunday’s vote, the Progressives will control 158 of the 250 seats in the National Assembly (Народна скупштина).
It also means that Aleksandar Vučić who served as minister of defense and first deputy prime minister in the previous government, will almost certainly become Serbia’s next prime minister.
What’s more, he will also become Serbia’s most powerful leader since the fall of Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milošević in 2000 — and potentially, the most powerful leader in the Balkans since Milošević.
Not only does Vučić (pictured above) have the luxury of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, it will be the first time since 2000 that the Serbian right simultaneously controls both the government and the presidency. Vučić comes to power with an ambitious agenda and if he succeeds, he could restore the high-growth economy of the early 2000s and nudge Serbia on a firm path into the European Union. Continue reading Who is Aleksandar Vučić? Serbia’s next prime minister.