Progressives win in three municipalities

BELGRADE -- The SNS have won convincingly in early local elections held in three municipalities: Belgrade's Voždovac, and Odžaci in northern and Kostolac in eastern Serbia.

SNS activists celebrate in Odžaci (Tanjug)
SNS activists celebrate in Odžaci (Tanjug)

The party will be able to form the local government in these municipalities without entering coalitions with others.

During the evening on Sunday top officials from the Progressives (SNS) and the Democrats (DS) addressed journalists in their respective party headquarters in Voždovac.

Head of the SNS Belgrade committee Nebojša Stefanović first said said that the results of the local elections showed "the time was right for early (parliamentary) elections."

SNS leader Aleksandar Vučić then said that he "respected the calls of his party colleagues for early elections" - but that they were "not a priority." However, he announced "discussion" on this subject within the SNS.

The Democrats, meanwhile, seem to have experienced a fiasco at the polls. According to incomplete results, they won 11.65 percent in Voždovac, while the SPS followed with 8.25, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) received about 6.10 percent.

The Social Democratic Party of Serbia led by Rasim Ljajić will also have seats in the municipal assembly having won about five percent of the vote.

Based on 70 percent of the counted ballots, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was left below the threshold with 4.51 percent. The turnout in this municipality was 36 percent.

In Odžaci, where election day was marred by incidents, the results were as follows: SNS - 48.18%, DS - 18.19%, SPS - 11.67%.

Deputy leader of the DS and head of the provincial government in Vojvodina Bojan Pajtić said that the conditions during the voting in Odžaci were "extremely hard," that voters were bribed, "and that therefore in all future local elections an international presence must be secured."

Vice President of the SNS Goran Knežević, however, said the results brought into question the legitimacy of the provincial government, headed by the DS, and called for early elections in Vojvodina.

"I question the legitimacy of the Vojvodina government after landslide victories (of the SNS) in (previously held elections) in Kovin, Srbobranu and Vršac and after the decision of the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional the statute of Vojvodina. The question is whether Bojan Pajtić can stay in power," Knežević said.

In Kostolac, preliminary results show that the SNS won about 45, 51 percent of the vote. The SPS received 22.18, the DS 12, and the URS 9.54 percent.

The turnout in Kostolac was 58.51percent.