Parliamentary elections, presidential elections, and local elections in 12 municipalities were held in Serbia at the same time as the Hungarian elections on Sunday. Preliminary results show that the incumbent president, Viktor Orbán’s ally Aleksandar Vucic, was re-elected as the country’s leader. Meanwhile, the country’s ethnic Hungarian party VMSZ won 5-6 seats in parliament. This is slightly below the results of the last election when the party managed to secure nine seats in the Serbian legislation.
Aleksandar Vucic has won a second term as president, just as initial projections suggested, and his Serbian Progressive Party was on course to win a majority in parliament with its Socialist partners, balkaninsight.com reports.
CESID, a Serbian-based NGO observing the parliamentary elections, said that Vucic had won 59.8 percent of votes in the presidential elections, while his SNS party won 43.5 per cent of votes in the parliamentary elections. Its partner party, the Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS, won another 11.6 percent, thus granting him a stable majority in parliament.
On Sunday, Vucic ran for a second five-year term on promises of peace and stability after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, which has put Serbia under pressure from the West to choose between its traditional ties with Moscow and aspirations to join the European Union (EU).
Vucic acknowledged that conflict in Ukraine impacted the campaign, and said Serbia has no plans to deviate from its balancing game between the EU membership bid and close ties with Russia and China, a major investor, according to Reuters.
Vojvodina Ethnic Hungarian Party Secures 5-6 mandates
We have reached our goals, we have achieved what we wanted to, stressed István Pásztor, President of the Hungarian Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ), at a press conference late on Sunday evening, commenting on the results of the elections in Serbia.
According to the preliminary results, seven Serbian parties and five national minority parties have entered the Serbian legislature.
For the past two years, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and the Serbian Socialist Party (SPS), as well as some minority parties, have been represented in the Serbian parliament.
The Hungarian Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians has been a member of the ruling coalition since 2014 and expects to continue to play such a role in the coming period. It intends to participate in government work at a state secretary level.
István Pásztor, President of the VMSZ, said that he wanted to see Aleksandar Vucic remain President of Serbia, and preliminary results show that this goal has been achieved. The other important objective was having Fidesz-KDNP remain in government in Hungary, and this was also achieved.
In addition to all this, the aim was also to ensure that the ethnic Hungarian Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ) retained its legitimacy and that its advocacy power was not broken. The President of VMSZ expects to win 5 or 6 seats in the 250-member parliament. In the last two years, the Hungarian party has had nine MPs in Belgrade.
In the featured photo: VMSZ president István Pásztor. Photo by Edvárd Molnár/MTI