2017 Serbian presidential election

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Serbian presidential election, 2017

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  Aleksandar Vučić crop.jpg Sasa Jankovic Cropped.jpg
Nominee Aleksandar Vučić Saša Janković
Party SNS Independent
Popular vote 2,012,788 597,728
Percentage 55.06% 16.35%

2017 Serbian presidential election by municipalities.svg
Election results by district
  Aleksandar Vučić
  Election not held

President before election

Tomislav Nikolić
Independent

Elected President

Aleksandar Vučić
SNS

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 Nikolić was eligible to run for a second five-year term, but opted not to do so. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić was elected as President in the first round.

Electoral system[edit]

The President of Serbia is elected for a five-year term using the two-round system.[2] Incumbent President's term is scheduled to expire on 31 May.[3]

Candidates[edit]

Serbia's Electoral Commission confirmed eleven candidates. Candidate numbers were decided using a random draw on 17 March.[4]

# Candidate Party affiliation Background Signatures
1 Sasa Jankovic Cropped.jpg Saša Janković   Independent Former Serbian national Ombudsman (2007–2017); his first presidential nomination. 17,134[5]
2 Vuk Jeremić Crop.jpg Vuk Jeremić   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[6]
3 No avatar.png Miroslav Parović   NSP President of the National Freedom Movement; his first presidential nomination. 10.390[7]
4 Sasa Radulovic Crop.jpg Saša Radulović   DJB President of the Enough is Enough party, former Minister of Economy (2013–2014); his first presidential nomination. 10,579[8]
5 No avatar.png Luka Maksimović   Independent The leader of a parody party Sarmu probo nisi (SPN); his first presidential nomination. 12,270[9]
6 Aleksandar Vučić crop.jpg Aleksandar Vučić   SNS Incumbent Prime Minister of Serbia (since 2014), former Minister of Information (1998–2000) and Minister of Defence (2012–2013); his first presidential nomination. 56,516[10]
7 Bosko Obradovic Dveri.jpg Boško Obradović   Dveri President of the Dveri party; his first presidential nomination. 11,212[11]
8 Vojislav Šešelj.jpg Vojislav Šešelj   SRS Founder and president of the Serbian Radical Party; his sixth presidential nomination. 12,970[12]
9 No avatar.png Aleksandar Popović   DSS Former Minister of Science and Environmental Protection (2004–2007) and Minister of Energy and Mining (2007–2008); his first presidential nomination. 10,504[13]
10 Milan Stamatovic Crop.jpg Milan Stamatović   Independent President of Čajetina municipality since 2004; his first presidential nomination. 12,027[7]
11 Nenad Canak crop.jpg Nenad Čanak   LSV President of League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina; his first presidential nomination. 11,004[14]

Non-candidacies[edit]

On 15 February 2017, news outlets announced that Tomislav Nikolić had decided to run for president, despite not being nominated by the SNS.[15] However, five days later he publicly stated that he would not run for re-election.[16] Likewise, Dušan Janjić from Active Serbia had announced his candidacy in May 2016,[17] only to prematurely end his campaign on 11 March 2017.[18] On 12 March 2017, independent candidate Vladimir Rajčić announced that he terminated his presidential campaign, but that he will be active in future elections.[19] In March 2017 independent candidates Danijela Sremac, Saša Mirković and Andrej Fajgelj decided to end their campaigns.

Opinion polls[edit]

Date Polling Firm Aleksandar Vučić crop.jpg
Vučić
SNS*
Sasa Jankovic Cropped.jpg
Janković
Ind.
Vojislav Šešelj.jpg
Šešelj
SRS
Vuk Jeremić Crop.jpg
Jeremić
Ind.
Bosko Obradovic Dveri.jpg
Obradović
Dveri
No avatar.png
Maksimović
Ind.
No avatar.png
Popović
DSS
Milan Stamatovic Crop.jpg
Stamatović
Ind.
No avatar.png
Parović
NSP
Nenad Canak crop.jpg
Čanak
LSV
Sasa Radulovic Crop.jpg
Radulović
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
* Also nominating: SPS, SDPS, JS, PUPS, PS, SPO, PSS – BK, SVM

Voter demographics[edit]

A public opinion survey, carried out by CeSID showed that significant proportions of Vučić 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.[20] The average age of his supporters was 55 years.[20]

The second most popular candidate, Janković, 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.[20] In addition, he was supported by the majority of diaspora voters.[21]

Conduct[edit]

The election was marred by accusations of voter intimidation and a near total domination of the Serbian media by Vučić and his party.[22][23] Following the announcement of the results, protests were held across Serbia against Vučić's victory.[24] 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 Vučić's campaign with exactly 40.000 RSD each, which is near maximum amount and individual can contribute.[23]

The OSCE have announced that there are reports of pressure on employees of state and state-affiliated institutions to support Vučić and secure, in a cascade fashion, support from subordinate employees, family members, and friends.[25]

On 3 April 2017, the Republican Electoral Commission announced that the election results from two polling stations in Bačka 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.[26] The following day, the election results were annulled in a further six municipalities, with re-runs also scheduled for 11 April.[27] 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,[27] fewer than Vučić's margin of victory.

In Novi Pazar, where Vučić recorded 74.43% of the vote, Sead Biberović 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".[28] Rešad Hodžić, who was Saša Janković'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."[29] He said that the Janković campaign workers did as much as they could to stop electoral fraud, going on to say:

On 3 April, following the announcement of Vučić's victory, a student protest formed in front of the Serbian National Assembly, which, according to Danas, was attended by over 10,000 people.[30] Protests after the election results were announced emerged in 15 cities throughout Serbia.[31]

Media freedom[edit]

The Associated Press and Reporters Without Borders reported that Aleksandar Vučić, the candidate of the governing coalition, had ten times more airtime on national broadcasters than all other candidates combined and that mainstream media under Vučić's control have been demonizing most of the opposition presidential candidates, without giving them the opportunity to respond.[32][33] This practice was different compared to the previous elections, when the two main candidates had approximately the same media coverage.[34] Non-governmental organizations involved in election observation, CRTA and Bureau for Social Research, emphasized that the presence of Aleksandar Vučić in newspaper and the electronic media during presidential campaign was disproportionate, adding that media have lost their critical roleand that they have become a means of political propaganda.[35][36]

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,[25] that аll private national television channels displayed preferential treatment towards Vučić in their news programmes, and that public resources were used in support of Vučić, including endorsements and favourable articles in municipal information material.[25] 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.[37]

One day before the beginning of the election silence, seven major newspapers covered their entire front pages with adverts for Vučić.[32] Slaviša Lekić, president of the Independent Journalist Association of Serbia said "With this, Aleksandar Vučić clearly demonstrated that he can control over everything in this country."[38] Vučić 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.[39][40][41]

Results[edit]

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

Candidate Nominating parties Votes %
Aleksandar Vučić SNSSPSSDPSJSPUPSPSSPOPSSSVM 2,012,788 55.06
Saša Janković Independent 597,728 16.35
Luka Maksimović Independent 344,498 9.42
Vuk Jeremić Independent 206,676 5.65
Vojislav Šešelj Serbian Radical Party 163,802 4.48
Boško Obradović Dveri 83,523 2.28
Saša Radulović Enough is Enough 51,651 1.41
Milan Stamatović Independent 42,193 1.15
Nenad Čanak League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina 41,070 1.12
Aleksandar Popović Democratic Party of Serbia 38,167 1.04
Miroslav Parović 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[edit]

  1. ^ Serbia to hold presidential elections on April 2 B92, 28 February 2017
  2. ^ Serbia IFES
  3. ^ President-elect Vucic to remain PM for another two months B92, 3 April 2017
  4. ^ Izborni listići: Janković 1, Jeremić 2, Beli 5, Vučić 6 B92, 17 March 2017
  5. ^ "Девета седница Републичке изборне комисије". www.rik.parlament.gov.rs. 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  6. ^ "RIK proglasila kandidaturu Vuka Jeremića". www.b92.net. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b "RIK proglasio kandidature Čanka, Stamatovića i Parovića, Beli nije na dnevnom redu".
  8. ^ "16. sednica RIK-a".
  9. ^ "Haos zbog Belog".
  10. ^ "Девета седница Републичке изборне комисије". www.rik.parlament.gov.rs. 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  11. ^ "RIK: Proglašena kandidatura Boška Obradovića".
  12. ^ "RIK proglasio kandidaturu Vojislava Šešelja za predsednika". www.blic.rs. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Proglašena kandidatura Aleksandra Popovića".
  14. ^ "RIK: Potvrđeni Stamatović, Parović i Čanak, Beli nije još".
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  16. ^ "OTKRIVAMO SVE DETALJE Nikolić se predao posle TIHIH SIGNALA IZ MOSKVE". Blic. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  17. ^ I Dušan Janjić najavljuje kandidaturu za predsednika Srbije Blic, 19 May 2016
  18. ^ Janjić odustao od predsedničke trke B92, 11 March 2017
  19. ^ Rajčić odustao od kandidature za predsednika Srbije Blic, 12 March 2017
  20. ^ a b c Klačar, Bojan (2018). Oko izbora 20 (PDF). CeSID.
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  36. ^ Gavrilović, Zoran; Mijatović, Marina; Pavlica, Dražen (2017). Mediji, izbori i javnost 2017 (PDF). Bureau for Social Research.
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  38. ^ "Serbia: Media freedom worsening as Serbs take to the streets". Safe Journalists. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  39. ^ "DEČKO PONOVO PAO U NESVEST U ĆIRILICI DOK JE VUČIĆ PRIČAO: Srušio se odjednom, a evo ko mu je pomogao (VIDEO)". espreso.rs. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
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