“President Aleksandar Vucic declared ‘victory’ in the March 4 municipal election in Belgrade, as exit polls indicated that his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won around 45 percent of the votes.

Preliminary results by the Ipsos polling agency and carried by state TV projected that the list of former Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas trailed with some 19 percent.

Two other lists passed the 5 percent threshold to win a seat in the 110-member Belgrade City Assembly, which appoints the city mayor for a four-year term.

‘This is the best result ever in Belgrade,’ Vucic told supporters. ‘This victory wasn’t easy to achieve.’

Ipsos reported that the final turnout was 51.1 percent.

Official results are due on March 5.” (RFE/RL)

“A former president of Serbia predicted Friday that a municipal election in Belgrade this weekend won’t be conducted fairly and he criticized the European Union for tolerating what he called the undemocratic policies of the Balkan state’s current leader.

Boris Tadic alleged in an interview with The Associated Press that the EU has been unwilling to confront President Aleksander Vucic because he promised to resolve the status of Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

‘For them, it is more important to solve the issue of Kosovo independence as soon as possible than to preserve democracy in Serbia,’ said Tadic, who was Serbia’s president during 2004-2012 and now leads the Social Democratic Party he founded.” (Washington Post)

“Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that he met with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci in Sofia on Thursday.

According to Vucic, they discussed ‘continuing the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and solving the historical dispute between Serbs and Albanians.’

‘We talked about when to continue the dialogue in Brussels and how to try to solve the historical dispute between Serbs and Albanians and that is all that I can tell you,’ Vucic said in Sofia where he spoke with Thaci on the sidelines of a Western Balkans Six and EU leaders’ summit.

Vucic said that he frequently talked with Thaci because that was his job.

‘It is always better to talk than to do anything else that could be bad for Serbs and Albanians. That is my job, nor is Mr. Thaci overjoyed but that is our job and our obligation,’ he said. Vucic said that key theme of the summit with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after his tour of the region, where he presented the EU’s new Strategy for the Western Balkans, was further progress toward the EU.” (B92)