2017 Serbian Presidential Election
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2017 Serbian Presidential Election
2017 Serbian presidential election

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  Aleksandar Vu?i? 2019 (cropped).jpg Sa?aJankovi?.jpg
Candidate Aleksandar Vu?i? Sa?a Jankovi?
Party SNS Independent
Popular vote 2,012,788 597,728
Percentage 55.06% 16.35%

  Ljubi?a Preleta?evi?.jpg Vuk Jeremi? Crop.jpg
Candidate Luka Maksimovi? Vuk Jeremi?
Party Independent Independent
Popular vote 344,498 206,676
Percentage 9.42% 5.65%

2017 Serbian presidential election by municipalities.svg
Election results by each municipality of Serbia:
  Vu?i?   Jankovi?   Stamatovi?   Election not held

Presidential elections were held in Serbia on 2 April 2017,[1] the eleventh since the office of President was introduced in 1990. Incumbent President Tomislav Nikoli? was eligible to run for a second five-year term, but opted not to do so. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vu?i? was elected as President in the first round.

The election was marred by accusations of voter intimidation and a near total domination of the Serbian media by Vu?i? and his party. Following the announcement of the results, protests were held across Serbia against Vu?i?'s victory. The OSCE have announced that there are reports of pressure on employees of state and state-affiliated institutions to support Vu?i? and secure, in a cascade fashion, support from subordinate employees, family members, and friends.

The OSCE report noted that general reluctance of media to report critically on or to challenge the governing authorities significantly reduced the amount of impartial information available to voters,[2] that all private national television channels displayed preferential treatment towards Vu?i? in their news programmes, and that public resources were used in support of Vu?i?, including endorsements and favourable articles in municipal information material.[2] The European Commission stated in its Serbia 2018 report that the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media had failed to address imbalances in media coverage during the presidential campaign.[3] The Associated Press and Reporters Without Borders reported that Aleksandar Vu?i?, the candidate of the governing coalition, had ten times more airtime on national broadcasters than all other candidates combined and that mainstream media under Vu?i?'s control have been demonizing most of the opposition presidential candidates, without giving them the opportunity to respond.[4][5] This practice was different compared to the previous elections, when the two main candidates had approximately the same media coverage.[6] Non-governmental organizations involved in election observation, CRTA and Bureau for Social Research, emphasized that the presence of Aleksandar Vu?i? in newspaper and the electronic media during presidential campaign was disproportionate, adding that media have lost their critical role and that they have become a means of political propaganda.[7][8]

Electoral system

The President of Serbia is elected for a five-year term using the two-round system.[9] Incumbent President's term is scheduled to expire on 31 May.[10]

Candidates

Serbia's Electoral Commission confirmed eleven candidates. Candidate numbers were decided using a random draw on 17 March.[11]

# Candidate Party affiliation Background Signatures
1 Sa?a Jankovi?   Independent Former Serbian national Ombudsman (2007-2017); his first presidential nomination. 17,134[12]
2 Vuk Jeremi? Crop.jpg Vuk Jeremi?   Independent Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2007-2012) and former President of the United Nations General Assembly (2012-2013); his first presidential nomination. 14,360[13]
3 Miroslav Parovic-mc.rs (cropped).jpg Miroslav Parovi?   NSP President of the People's Freedom Movement; his first presidential nomination. 10.390[14]
4 Sasa Radulovic Crop.jpg Sa?a Radulovi?   DJB President of the Enough is Enough party, former Minister of Economy (2013-2014); his first presidential nomination. 10,579[15]
5 Ljubi?a Preleta?evi?.jpg Luka Maksimovi?   Independent The leader of a parody party Sarmu probo nisi (SPN); his first presidential nomination. 12,270[16]
6 Aleksandar Vu?i?   SNS Former Prime Minister of Serbia (2014-2017), former Minister of Information (1998-2000), and Minister of Defence (2012-2013); his first presidential nomination. 56,516[17]
7 Bo?ko Obradovi?   Dveri President of the Dveri party; his first presidential nomination. 11,212[18]
8 Vojislav ?e?elj   SRS Founder and president of the Serbian Radical Party; his sixth presidential nomination. 12,970[19]
9 Aleksandar Popovi?.png Aleksandar Popovi?   DSS Former Minister of Science and Environmental Protection (2004-2007) and Minister of Energy and Mining (2007-2008); his first presidential nomination. 10,504[20]
10 Milan Stamatovi? (cropped).jpg Milan Stamatovi?   Independent President of ?ajetina municipality since 2004; his first presidential nomination. 12,027[14]
11 Nenad Canak crop.jpg Nenad ?anak   LSV President of League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina; his first presidential nomination. 11,004[21]

Opinion polls

Date Polling Firm Vu?i?
SNS*
Jankovi?
Ind.
?e?elj
SRS
Jeremi?
Ind.
Obradovi?
Dveri
Maksimovi?
Ind.
Popovi?
DSS
Stamatovi?
Ind.
Parovi?
NSP
?anak
LSV
Radulovi?
DJB
Lead
30 Mar NSPM 52.8 12.1 7.4 9.4 3.0 8.6 1.3 0.7 0.4 1.3 3.0 40.7
30 Mar Ipsos 54.3 12.8 6.5 6.8 3.2 9.5 - - - 1.1 1.8 41.5
29 Mar Demostat 56.2 8.9 8.8 9.3 <3.0 9.5 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 46.7
25 Mar Faktor Plus 53.3 15.1 5.5 8.6 2.8 7.5 <3.0 2.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 38.2
23 Mar CeSID 53.0 14.0 10.0 12.0 - 5.0 - - - - - 39.0
22 Mar Ninamedia 50.0 12.5 7.1 7.2 <5.0 11.9 <5.0 <5.0 <5.0 <5.0 <5.0 37.5
18 Mar Ipsos 53.0 10.6 8.7 6.9 3.5 11.0 1.1 1.5 0.3 1.7 1.7 42.0
17 Mar Demostat 57.0 11.0 8.0 9.0 3.0 3.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 <3.0 46.0
16 Mar NSPM 54.9 10.8 7.0 11.1 3.3 7.9 0.9 0.7 0.4 1.0 2.1 43.8
7 Mar Faktor Plus 53.1 14.5 11.0 11.1 3.9 - - 2.0 - <2.0 2.4 38.6
28 Feb Ipsos 52.3 13.9 11.0 13.3 3.7 - 0.8 0.8 - 1.7 - 38.4
Results 55.06 16.35 4.48 5.65 2.28 9.42 1.04 1.15 0.32 1.12 1.41 38.74
* Also nominating: SPS, SDPS, JS, PUPS, PS, SPO, PSS - BK, SVM

Voter demographics

A public opinion survey, carried out by CeSID showed that significant proportions of Vu?i? supporters, the candidate of the governing coalition, were composed of pensioners (41%) and that the vast majority (63%) held a secondary education degree, while 21% did not complete high school.[22] The average age of his supporters was 55 years.[22]

The second most popular candidate, Jankovi?, had slightly more women among his potential voters, who were on average 45 years old. The vast majority of his supporters (59%) had completed higher education.[22] In addition, he was supported by the majority of diaspora voters.[23]

Conduct

The election was marred by accusations of voter intimidation and a near total domination of the Serbian media by Vu?i? and his party.[24][25] Following the announcement of the results, protests were held across Serbia against Vu?i?'s victory.[26] There were several issues. First, the electoral campaign was short only fulfilling minimal requirement of 30 days, despite the fact that these were regular elections. Also, until the last day it was unclear if there would be only parliamentary elections or parliamentary and City of Belgrade elections which hampered electoral strategies of opposition candidates. Furthermore, the governing majority made a decision to dissolve the parliament during the campaign, which was not justified and badly hurt visibility of opposition.

There were also a problems with imperfect electoral registers recorded which was similar as with previous elections. Controversy also arose regarding financing of electoral campaigns. Independent Investigative journalists reported that up to 6879 individual donors have provided Aleksandar Vu?i?'s campaign with exactly 40.000 RSD each, which is near maximum amount and individual can contribute.[25]

The OSCE have announced that there are reports of pressure on employees of state and state-affiliated institutions to support Vu?i? and secure, in a cascade fashion, support from subordinate employees, family members, and friends.[2]

On 3 April 2017, the Republican Electoral Commission announced that the election results from two polling stations in Ba?ka Palanka and Zrenjanin would be annulled and followed by a repeat vote at those stations on 11 April. This was due to reports of electoral fraud.[27] The following day, the election results were annulled in a further six municipalities, with re-runs also scheduled for 11 April.[28] The repeat vote in the eight municipalities could not change the outcome of the elections, as there were only 9,851 voters who are eligible to vote,[28] fewer than Vu?i?'s margin of victory.

In Novi Pazar, where Vu?i? recorded 74.43% of the vote, Sead Biberovi? from the Novi Pazar-based NGO called "Urban-IN" claimed that there were "serious crimes committed at multiple polling stations," and that "some people went from station to station, where they threatened, used ransoms, and lied".[29] Re?ad Hod?i?, who was Sa?a Jankovi?'s campaign representative in Novi Pazar, claimed that "30,000 lists were prepared in the trunks of cars circulating between polling places, in an attempt to be cast into the voting boxes."[30] He said that the Jankovi? campaign workers did as much as they could to stop electoral fraud, going on to say:

"In polling station #90, activists of the Party of Democratic Action of Sand?ak gave poll workers 5,000 dinars each in order to submit 500 votes for Vu?i?, which they accepted. In the end, Vu?i? recorded 532 votes at that polling station. In Vranovina they offered 400 euros to submit 200 votes. For all of this we have witnesses and averments."[30]

On 3 April, following the announcement of Vu?i?'s victory, a student protest formed in front of the Serbian National Assembly, which, according to Danas, was attended by over 10,000 people.[31] Protests after the election results were announced emerged in 15 cities throughout Serbia.[32]

Media freedom

The Associated Press and Reporters Without Borders reported that Aleksandar Vu?i?, the candidate of the governing coalition, had ten times more airtime on national broadcasters than all other candidates combined and that mainstream media under Vu?i?'s control have been demonizing most of the opposition presidential candidates, without giving them the opportunity to respond. This practice was different compared to the previous elections, when the two main candidates had approximately the same media coverage. Non-governmental organizations involved in election observation, CRTA and Bureau for Social Research, emphasized that the presence of Aleksandar Vu?i? in newspaper and the electronic media during presidential campaign was disproportionate, adding that media have lost their critical role and that they have become a means of political propaganda.

The OSCE report noted that general reluctance of media to report critically on or to challenge the governing authorities significantly reduced the amount of impartial information available to voters,[2] that all private national television channels displayed preferential treatment towards Vu?i? in their news programmes, and that public resources were used in support of Vu?i?, including endorsements and favourable articles in municipal information material.[2] The European Commission stated in its Serbia 2018 report that the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media had failed to address imbalances in media coverage during the presidential campaign.

One day before the beginning of the election silence, seven major newspapers covered their entire front pages with adverts for Vu?i?.[4] Slavi?a Leki?, president of the Independent Journalist Association of Serbia said "With this, Aleksandar Vu?i? clearly demonstrated that he can control over everything in this country."[33] Vu?i? was the subject of criticism and satire for the appearance of a show on Happy TV in the last days of the campaign, with guests including his parents, in which he offered assistance in front of the camera to a man who allegedly fainted.[34][35][36]

Results

As Vu?i? received more than 50% of votes in the first round, no second round was held.

Candidate Nominating parties Votes %
Aleksandar Vu?i? Serbian Progressive Party 2,012,788 55.06
Sa?a Jankovi? Independent 597,728 16.35
Luka Maksimovi? Independent (Sarmu prob'o nisi) 344,498 9.42
Vuk Jeremi? Independent 206,676 5.65
Vojislav ?e?elj Serbian Radical Party 163,802 4.48
Bo?ko Obradovi? Dveri Movement 83,523 2.28
Sa?a Radulovi? Enough is Enough 51,651 1.41
Milan Stamatovi? Independent 42,193 1.15
Nenad ?anak League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina 41,070 1.12
Aleksandar Popovi? Democratic Party of Serbia 38,167 1.04
Miroslav Parovi? National Freedom Movement 11,540 0.32
Invalid/blank votes 61,729 1.69
Total 3,655,365 100
Registered voters/turnout 54.36
Source: RIK

References

  1. ^ Serbia to hold presidential elections on April 2 B92, 28 February 2017
  2. ^ a b c d e "Presidential election 2017, OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Final Report". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Serbia 2018 Report" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Major newspapers in Serbia hit stands with same front pages". Financial Times. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Media Ownership Monitor Serbia". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Parliamentary and early presidential election 2012, OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Final Report". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ CRTA observation mission Final report Presidential elections 2017 (PDF). CRTA. 2017. p. 24.
  8. ^ Gavrilovi?, Zoran; Mijatovi?, Marina; Pavlica, Dra?en (2017). Mediji, izbori i javnost 2017 (PDF). Bureau for Social Research.
  9. ^ Serbia IFES
  10. ^ President-elect Vucic to remain PM for another two months B92, 3 April 2017
  11. ^ Izborni listi?i: Jankovi? 1, Jeremi? 2, Beli 5, Vu?i? 6 B92, 17 March 2017
  12. ^ " ? ? ? ". www.rik.parlament.gov.rs. 5 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "RIK proglasila kandidaturu Vuka Jeremi?a". www.b92.net. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ a b "RIK proglasio kandidature ?anka, Stamatovi?a i Parovi?a, Beli nije na dnevnom redu".
  15. ^ "16. sednica RIK-a". Archived from the original on 2017-04-13. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Haos zbog Belog".
  17. ^ " ? ? ? ". www.rik.parlament.gov.rs. 5 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "RIK: Progla?ena kandidatura Bo?ka Obradovi?a".
  19. ^ "RIK proglasio kandidaturu Vojislava ?e?elja za predsednika". www.blic.rs. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Progla?ena kandidatura Aleksandra Popovi?a".
  21. ^ "RIK: Potvr?eni Stamatovi?, Parovi? i ?anak, Beli nije jo?".
  22. ^ a b c Kla?ar, Bojan (2018). Oko izbora 20 (PDF). CeSID.
  23. ^ "Serbian presidential elections: The diaspora vote" (PDF). European Politics and Policy, The London School of Economics and Political Science. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "A Serbian Election Erodes Democracy". The New York Times. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ a b Burazer, Nikola; Hackaj, Krisela; Shehaj, Ardita; Stefanovski, Ivan (2017). Democracy in Progress: shadow report on political Copenhagen criteria in Western Balkans EU candidate states. Belgrade: Centar savremene politike. ISBN 978-86-80576-04-6.
  26. ^ Da Silva, Chantal (8 April 2017). "Serbian protesters accuse media of turning blind eye, as anti-corruption rallies continue". The Independent. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ Tanjug (4 April 2017). "Mondo: Poni?teni izbori: Sumnjiv JMBG i vi?ak listi?a" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ a b Tanjug (4 April 2017). "Ve?ernje Novosti: Ponovljanje izbora na osam bira?kih mesta 11. aprila" (in Serbian).
  29. ^ A. Bajrovi? (3 April 2017). "Radio Sto Plus: Biberovi?: Rezultati ne pokazuju stvarno opredeljenje Novopazaraca" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ a b N. Ko?ovi? (4 April 2017). "Radio Sto Plus: Hod?i?: Totalna kra?a, ni devedesetih nije bilo ovako" (in Serbian). Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ "Danas: Vi?e od 10.000 mladih protestuje protiv diktature" (in Serbian). 3 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ "Danas: Protesti protiv vlasti u 15 gradova Srbije" (in Serbian). 4 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ "Serbia: Media freedom worsening as Serbs take to the streets". Safe Journalists. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ "DE?KO PONOVO PAO U NESVEST U ?IRILICI DOK JE VU?I? PRI?AO: Sru?io se odjednom, a evo ko mu je pomogao (VIDEO)". espreso.rs. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ "Vucic's victory leads Serbia towards autocracy". Kosovo.2. Retrieved 2019.
  36. ^ "In Macedonia and Serbia, Right-Wing Politicians Make Their Followers Swoon--Literally". Global Voices. Retrieved 2019.

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