General elections held in Serbia on 6 May have confirmed that the Serbian Progressive Party and the Democratic Party enjoy the biggest popular support, but that both would likely need to in coalition with the Socialist Party of Serbia to form a government.
The coalition bringing together the Socialists, United Serbia and the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia has positioned itself won about 15% of the vote, making it the third strongest in the country. Thanks to this, the group now has a very good negotiating position and will probably decide who will form the next Serbian government.
"Maybe Serbia does not know yet who will be its new president, but it can be certain who will be its new prime minister," said Socialist party leader Ivica Dačić in the evening on 6 May at a news conference organised at his party’s headquarters. The Socialist Party was once led by Slobodan Milošević, but it says it has changed a lot since. Nikolić and Tadić will compete at the presidential election run-off on 20 May.
Dačić announced that he will first talk with his hitherto coalition partner, the Democratic Party, but added that that he would also talk with the Serbian Progressive Party.
"Our agreement on who we will support in the second round [of the presidential vote] depends on who will take our entire proposal (including government formation) into account," said Dačić. He added that his coalition will pursue the policy that would protect Serbia’s and its citizens’ national interests.
It remains unclear when the talks on the forming of the new government will begin. Tadić said that the outcome of the second round presidential vote on 20 May will determine the composition of the new government, while Nikolić said he expected the negotiations on the forming of the government to begin immediately.
Support from the Socialist Party, however, will not be enough either for the Progressives or for the Democrats to form the government, and both of them will have to seek additional, smaller partners.
Parliamentary election results
According to final estimates announced on 7 May by the Center for Democratic Elections and Democracy (CeSID), a non-governmental organizstion monitoring the vote and announcing reliable results, Nikolić’s ticket will have 73 seats in the 250-seat Serbian parliament, whereas the Democratic Party-led ticket will have 68. The Socialist party-led coalition will have 45 MPs.
Vojislav Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia won 20 seats, the Turnabout movement, led by Čedomir Jovanović's Liberal Democratic Party, will have 20, and Mladjan Dinkic’s United Regions of Serbia obtains 16 MPs. The Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians won five seats in parliament, and three minority tickets – the Not One of the Offered Answers, All Together, and Sulejman Ugljanin’s Party of Democratic Action – won one seat each.
This year’s election has brought yet another novelty – the Serbian Radical Party, whose leader, Vojislav Šešelj, is on trial before the Hague War Crimes Tribunal, after many years will probably have no representatives in parliament, having failed to cross the necessary 5% threshold. Conservative right-wing movement Dveri also failed to muster enough votes for representation in the Serbian legislative body.
Because of dissatisfaction with the performance of the now former government and its alternatives, an initiative was launched this year for casting blank ballots. There is no official data yet on the full number of blank ballots, but 5.5% of such have been cast in Belgrade.
Despite some forecasts that the turnout will not be high, according to the Serbian Electoral Commission 61.08% of voters went to the polling stations. There are 6,770,013 voters in Serbia.
This is the third time that Nikolić and Tadić will compete for the high office. Previously they crossed swords in 2004 and 2008, and on both occasions Tadić defeated Nikolić in the second round. According to preliminary results, in the 6 May presidential vote both of them won less votes than on two previous occasions.
The Electoral Commission announced on 7 May that according to temporary results, based on 25.98 percent of the ballots counted, Tadić won 24.81% and Nikolić 24.71% percent of the vote.