Serbian parliamentary election, 2008
|Results by district. Yellow (ZES), dark blue (SRS), light blue (DSS)|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Serbian parliamentary election, 2008 was held on 11 May 2008 to elect members of the National Assembly. The election was held barely a year after the previous parliamentary election. There were 6,749,886 eligible electors who were able to vote in 8,682 voting places, as well as 157 special voting stations for refugees from Kosovo.
The Government of Serbia had passed through weeks of severe crisis after the unilateral declaration of independence of its southern province of Kosovo on 17 February 2008. Its stability, however, was also tested and questioned before, being comprised by two very different political currents. Kosovo's independence was gradually recognized by the United States and numerous European Union countries, leading to strain in their relations with Serbia. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) offered in late February to the Democratic Party (Serbia) (DS), which holds governmental majority, a restructuring of the governmental contract including an annex according to which Serbia can continue European exclusively with Kosovo as its integral part. The controversy was further heated up when Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for enlargement of the European Union, offered to continue negotiations with Serbia. President Boris Tadić of the DS responded that European integrations of Serbia cannot be questioned by anyone or anything, and that since the province of Kosovo-Metohija is written into the constitution, meaning that the proposal would mean that the Constitution is being questioned.
After days of DS and G17+ utilising their majority to outnumber the DSS-New Serbia (NS) populist coalition, the Premier finally stated on 8 March 2008 in a press conference that the government had fallen. He scheduled an irregular session of the Serbian government for 10 March 2008, in which his proposal to issue a request to the President to dismiss the parliament and schedule pre-term parliamentary elections for 11 May 2008, the same as the local elections. In the event that this did not occur, he would announce his imminent resignation. Subsequently, all parliamentary leaders, save for Ivica Dačić of the Socialist Party of Serbia who called for forming a government of national unity and Dragan Marković Palma of United Serbia, supported his proposal. Hours later, the President confirmed he would dismiss the parliament and schedule the election upon receiving the government's request, although unlike the PM he stated that there is no dispute in the government regarding Kosovo, but exclusively regarding European integration. The dissolution took place on 13 March 2008.
A list of registered electoral lists:
- For a European Serbia – Boris Tadić (За европску Србију – Борис Тадић)
- Liberal Democratic Party – Čedomir Jovanović (Либерално демократска партија – Чедомир Јовановић)
- Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia – Vojislav Koštunica (Демократска странка Србије – Нова Србија – Војислав Коштуница)
- Serbian Radical Party – Dr Vojislav Šešelj (Српска радикална странка – Др Војислав Шешељ)
- Socialist Party of Serbia – Party of United Pensioners of Serbia – United Serbia (Социјалистичка партија Србије – Партија уједињних пензионера Србије – Јединствена Србија)
- Bosniak List for a European Sandžak – Dr Sulejman Ugljanin (Бошњачка листа за европски Санџак – др Сулејман Угљанин) M
- Hungarian Coalition – István Pásztor (Magyar Koalíció – Pásztor István) M
- Reformist Party – Dr Aleksandar Višnjić (Реформистичка странка – др Александар Вишњић)
- Serbian Strength Movement – Bogoljub Karić (Покрет снага Србије – Богољуб Карић)
- Civic Initiative of Goranis (Грађанска иницијатива Горанаца) M
- Albanian Coalition from Preševo Valley (Коалиција Албанаца Прешевске долине) M
M — national minority list
The parties' campaign slogans for the 2008 election:
|Party||English slogan||Serbian slogan|
|For a European Serbia||For a European Serbia||Za evropsku Srbiju|
|Liberal Democratic Party||Spread further!
Serbia without borders
Srbija bez granica
|DSS-NS||Support Serbia!||Podrži Srbiju!|
|Serbian Radical Party||Go Serbia!||Napred Srbijo!|
|SPS-PUPS-JS||Stand up Serbia||Ustani Srbijo|
|Serbian Strength Movement||Not giving Serbia up||Ne dam Srbiju|
For a European Serbia coalition
President Boris Tadić has gathered a large pro-EU coalition around his DS and G17 Plus. On the list 166 candidates are from DS, 60 from G17+ and 8 members from each of the following parties Sanjak Democratic Party and League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina. 25 seats are guaranteed for G17+, 4 seats and a Ministry in the future government for both SDP and SPO and 3 seats for LSV. However, if the alliance wins over 100 seats, their seats will gradually increase. The list's name is For a European Serbia – Boris Tadić and its leader is Dragoljub Mićunović.
The List won 102 seats, of which 25 went to G17+.
The populist coalition of incumbent Prime Minister Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and their coalition partner New Serbia (NS) ran together in the election. 70% of the seats went to DSS and 30% to NS. Its campaign slogan was Support Serbia!. Koštunica was its candidate for Prime Minister.
The Populists won 30 seats, 21 of which went to DSS and 9 to NS.
Serbian Radical Party
The Serbian Radical Party ran alone in this parliamentary election. The party presented its list of 250 candidates.
The Socialist Party of Serbia and the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia have strengthened their links by forming a coalition, on which United Serbia and Movement of Veterans of Serbia will be present. 151 candidates are from SPS (with 1 from PVS), 69 from PUPS and 30 from JS. The Socialists' presidential candidate Milutin Mrkonjić as been presented for Prime Minister.
The Party for Democratic Action is determined to go on the election and gather the ethnic Albanian minority parties from the Preševo Valley. The Hungarian Coalition of Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, Democratic Fellowship of Vojvodina Hungarians and Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians ran together after the presidential elections success in an attempt to strengthen the Magyar minority's representation. The Civic Initiative of Gora ran for the first time representing the Goranis in the Serbian parliament for the very first time. The Bosniak Democratic Party of Sandžak gathered a Bosniac List – For a European Sanjak – Sulejman Ugljanin (Бошњачка листа – За европски Санџак – Сулејман Угљанин) coalition.
On proposal of SRS the electoral boards has changed the electoral rules for the minority parties, which now need the standard 10,000 signatures instead of privileged 3,000. This has caused an outbreak of public protest amongst Roma and Albanian minorities, who consider this a scandalous removal of positive discrimination of the national minorities, as it opens the question whether they could accumulate that many signatures in time.
- Election References:
The ZES list was coalition of:
- Democratic Party (64)
- G17 Plus (24)
- League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (5)
- Social Democratic Party of Serbia (4)
- Serbian Renewal Movement (4)
- Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina (1)
SRS has declared post-electoral cooperation forming a government with DSS, which in turn didn't disregard this possibility, but stated that there will be no more cooperation with DS or G17+, on the allegation that they do not really want to protect Kosovo. NS excluded cooperation with G17+ and LSV, calling them "anti-state" parties who "had brought down the government twice", but also did not rule out a coalition with the SRS, and furthermore claimed that the DS had talked with the DSS about throwing G17+ out of the government and having it supported by the SPS. SPS-PUPS-JS confirmed it's determined to form a post-electoral coalition with SRS and DSS-NS and excluded the possibility of any cooperation with the Europeists because of G17+ and LSV, but its leaders have continually left an option of open dialog with the DS.
The European Coalition excluded all cooperation with SRS and stated that all other coalitions are in option, as long as they accept the pro-EU cause and the five principles of the former government. Regarding coalition with DSS, Koštunica can no longer count on the PM seat. LDP however, excluded the possibility to take part in any government with DSS, SPS or NS under any circumstance.
According to a post-electoral poll conducted by Strategic Marketing from 22 to 24 May 2008, 51% of the citizens support a pro-European Coalition with the Socialists and minority support (ZES, SPS-PUPS-JS & minorities), 45% a Patriotic government (SRS, DSS-NS & SPS-PUPS-JS) and 6% are undecided. On the question regarding the possibility of repeated elections:
- ZES - 111
- SRS - 75
- DSS-NS - 28
- SPS-PUPS-JS - 16
- LDP - 13
- minorities - 7
After long and difficult negotiations, the new pro-European government was formed on 7 July 2008 by 128 out of 250 parliamentary votes of ZES, SPS-PUPS-JS and 6 of 7 minorities representatives. The new prime minister was Mirko Cvetković, non-partisan candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party.
- B92 - News - Politics - Tadić to dissolve parliament on March 13
- B92 - News - Politics - Revote ongoing in six polling stations
- RIK confirms final ballot list
- "DS coalition wins, set to seek coalition partners" b92.net 11 May 2008 Link accessed 12/05/08
- B92 - News - Politics - Ilić won't rule out coalition with Radicals
- B92 - Vesti - Dačić: Osvojiti što više glasova - Internet, Radio i TV stanica; najnovije vesti iz Srbije