Poacher turned gamekeeper – Alexsander Vucic has cast his vote in Serbia’s snap parliamentary elections. Polls suggest the one time ultra-nationalist who now leads the centre-right Progressive Party is set to become prime minister.
His party called the ballot after just 18 months in coalition government. European Union membership and overhaul of the Serbian economy are among the goals.
“I expect reforms, job creation and the fight against corruption to be the main issues for us after the election,” he said.
Ivica Dacic is the current prime minister and leader of the Socialists. The former aide to the ousted Slobodan Milosevic is also an advocate of EU membership.
He believes Serbia has transformed its image abroad and “could be a factor for stability and peace within the region”.
Only two, Croatia and Slovenia of the seven successor states of the former Yugoslavia have joined the EU.
It could be 2020 before the country of 7.3 million officially joins the bloc.
“Since the nineties we have been listening to how we prosper, now it is 2014 and it is still difficult, it won’t be better before 2020 on all levels, it will be very difficult,” said one voter Belgrade resident Predrag Vucevic
Whoever wins the election will have to rein in public debt in order to secure a new precautionary loan deal with the International Monetary Fund. That could come soon after a new government is formed.