Serbian politics is dominated by President
Aleksandar Vučić and his nationalist party SNS.
Increasing dissatisfaction with what is perceived as an
increasingly authoritarian regime has led to a protest
movement and large parts of the opposition boycotted the
parliamentary elections in June 2020.
Preliminary results show that the Serbian Progress
Party (SNS), which has ruled Serbia since 2012, received
nearly two-thirds of the votes in the election. But
turnout was low. A large part of the opposition
boycotted the election and a majority of the members of
the outgoing parliament have boycotted the work for
almost a year.
Country facts and history of Serbia, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Growing opposition to the government brought a large
part of the opposition in September 2018 into a new
formation, the Alliance for Serbia. A few months later,
a protest movement arose against President Vučić, after
the leader of a small left party was beaten in
connection with a political meeting and the SNS was
accused of lying behind the attack. Street protests were
held every Saturday throughout 2019 and initially
gathered tens of thousands of people across the country.
Eventually, the demonstrations diminished in magnitude,
but they have continued on a small scale until 2020. The
organizers say they have no political party in the back
but state that the purpose is only to protest against
The protesters demand that he and the SNS release
their control over the media and create fair conditions
for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Formally, the
president has relatively limited power, but Vučić's
position is unharmed in the dominant SNS, and he thus
has far-reaching influence.
The political situation was sharpened when the
Alliance for Serbia decided to boycott the work of
Parliament as long as the demands of the protesters were
not paid attention. The majority of the alliance also
boycotted the parliamentary elections that should have
been held in April 2020 but postponed until June 21, due
to the corona pandemic.
When the coronavirus began to spread, severe
restrictions on freedom of movement were introduced,
with a constant curfew for the elderly and curfew at
night for everyone (see further Calendar). Protests
against the government resumed towards the end of April
but were now largely driven from the homes: people blew
in whistles, beat pots and played music loudly under the
slogan "Noise against dictatorship".
The SNS has been the largest party since it was
formed and has had its own majority in Parliament since
2014. Despite the strong position of the SNS government,
the then Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić decided in
January 2016 to announce new elections to Parliament,
two years in advance. Vučić stated that he wanted a new
four-year mandate to implement reforms, but many
believed that the reason was mainly that the SNS wanted
control of the province of Vojvodina, where the
opposition still ruled. Local elections were held at the
same time as the parliamentary elections.
The election also led to SNS taking over power in
Vojvodina. As in the 2014 elections, SNS became the
largest party in all of Serbia with almost half the
votes. The Socialist Party (SPS) coalition partner also
backed, while right-wing nationalist parties, such as
the Radical Party (SRS), had success.
It wasn't until August before Vučić was able to
present his new government, which did not show any major
changes. Among other things, the SPS leader Ivica Dačić
retained the post of First Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister, although it was known that he and
Vučić did not always agree. Many believe that Russian
President Vladimir Putin exerted pressure on Vučić to
leave Dačić in the government.
The long delay in forming government, together with
domestic political problems in Kosovo, caused the EU-led
negotiations on the details of the Serbia-Kosovo
framework agreement signed in 2013 to stall, but in the
fall of 2016 they resumed. However, the most important
issue for Serbia, autonomy for the Serbs in northern
Kosovo, has not yet come up with a solution.
Membership negotiations with the EU
With 2016, Serbia was able to open several so-called
chapters in the membership negotiations. However,
several of these got under way later than planned since
EU member Croatia temporarily stopped them, as the
country believed that Serbia did not meet their
requirements (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).
On April 2, 2017, presidential elections were held.
The incumbent president, Tomislav Nikolić, had intended
to stand for re-election but resigned since the party he
was forming, the ruling SNS, chose instead to support
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić's candidacy. Vučić also
already won 55 percent of the vote in the first round,
almost 40 percentage points more than the second
election, the former Ombudsman Saša Janković. The
opposition accused Vučić of winning a lot because he was
able to use the media to his advantage. After the
election, many, not least young people, took to the
streets of both Belgrade and other cities to demonstrate
against Vučićs as they perceived the increasingly
authoritarian rule. Large demonstrations, both for and
against the new president, also took place when he was
installed on May 31.
Follow developments in the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Republic of Srbija / Republic of Serbia
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Aleksandar Vučić (2017–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Ana Brnabić (2017–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Serbian Progress Party (SNS) 131, Socialist Party (SPS)
29, Radical Party (SRS) 22, Democratic Party (DS) 16,
Now it Enough (DJB) 16, Serbia's Democratic Party /
Dveri (DSS / Dveri) 13, Social Democratic / liberal
valalliance under the Democratic Party (SDS / LDP / LSV)
13, other 10 (2016)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Serbian Progress Party (SNS) 158, Socialist Party (SPS)
44, Democratic Party (DS) 19, New Democratic Party (NDS)
18, others 11 (2014)
56% in the 2016 parliamentary elections
parliamentary elections 2024, presidential elections