April 4 (UPI) — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is projected to win a second term in office.
According to preliminary results from IPSOS and CEDSID published Sunday night, the populist president’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party received nearly 43% of the vote, based on 90% of ballots counted.
Trailing far behind was centrists rival the Alliance for Victory coalition with 13.5% of the vote and the Socialist Party of Serbia with 11.4%, according to the figures.
Vucic declared victory before supporters at his party’s headquarters on Sunday night, stating the win will make he the longest serving leader since Nikola Pasic, who was the prime minister of Serbia and then of the former Yugoslavia in the early 20th century.
“I want to say that I am proud of our campaign, which was the cleanest and most beautiful, and that I am proud that we have not slandered anyone,” Vucic said, Balkan Insight reported.
Non-profit Serbian organization Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability reported about an hour ahead of polls closing at 8 p.m. on Sunday that voter turnout was 55.1%, higher than the 53.1% that turned out for the 2016 parliamentary elections in 2016 and the 45.5% that voted in 2020.
There have been reports of irregularities during the election including incidents of alleged vote-buying and pressure on observer teams as well as of violence, with Pavle Grbovic, the leader of opposition party Movement of Free Citizens, being attacked near a polling station at a Belgrade suburb, the local news organization reported.