Vučić won - what's next?
As was expected, the current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and his Progressive Party was able to gain the most votes in the last parliamentary elections. According to preliminary calculations, Vučić claimed about 50%.
The coalition formed around the Socialist Party of Serbia, headed by Ivica Dacic gained 12.1%, the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj - 7.94%, the opposition coalition "For Fair Serbia - The Democratic Party" - 6,13%.
The aforementioned parties all overcame the 5% threshold and will be represented in the new parliament. The rest of the 16 parties that were represented in the list do not seem to be held in the new composition of the legislative body of Serbia. This means that Vučić will hold almost full power, and he will start to put his people in key positions.
The newly elected MPs will receive mandates and the first meeting of the renewed Parliament should be held no later than 30 days after the publication of the final election results. A maximum of 90 days from the date of the first meeting of the Parliament was allotted for the process of forming the government. The Constitution provides for the dissolution of Parliament should they fail to form a government during this period.
Here are perhaps some of the most likely scenarios for the development of the Serbian political space until 2020:
1. There is a logical completion of the reforms initiated by Aleksandar Vučić, supported by the EU and other Western institutions. Belgrade will negotiate with Brussels over the plan to integrate with the European Union and to sign all the necessary documents. In exchange for economic aid, there will be structural changes in the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies of the government of Serbia. Enforcement structures will be dismantled, and economic and social sectors will adapt to European standards, which mean an increase in unemployment, an increase in rates, and the deterioration of the living standards of Serbian citizens. The policy on information will be shaped in accordance with the programs of EU tolerance. Gay prides events will be held more often, and Serbian media will promote the culture of perversions.
It is likely that Serbia will also continue a policy of rapprochement with NATO. Kosovo will be granted more autonomy and there is a likelihood of further recognition of sovereignty from Belgrade.
2. Despite the fact that the majority of parliamentary seats will belong to the Progressive Party, as well as political organizations controlled by Vučić, a political crisis will begin in Serbia. This is due to the inability to cope with the existing problems and new challenges, including the flow of migrants and the worsening socio-economic situation. The growth in popularity of Eurosceptics in the neighboring countries will contribute to pressure from citizens to have more adequate policies. In this scenario, the European Eurosceptics are seen as the most desirable partners in the creation of a coalition in the Serbian parliament and help to block the pro-EU reforms in Serbia.
3. An alternative political landscape will be formed in Serbia. Such a scenario is quite possible if the current opposition movement will be able to unite and begin to engage in active politics at the local and regional level. Advances can contribute to the creation of a new party that will be able to enter the new parliament in 2020 or earlier, subject to the next snap elections.
In the latter two cases, Russia can demonstrate its active involvement should windows of opportunity appear (as well as if such windows are created). Since the last ten years, despite the claims of friendship and fraternity between Russia and Serbia, Belgrade pivoted towards the EU and NATO; Moscow's role in defending its interests in the Balkans should be more open and strategic. In addition, personnel and diplomatic efforts by Russia should be reviewed. Despite the fact that a large number of projects and programs, both in the inter-state and in public domain, have already been initiated, there are still many liberals who either discredit or sabotage Moscow's actions in this area.