Serbia’s Leader, Aleksandar Vucic: A Decade in Power and Controversy

In the past ten years, Aleksandar Vucic has been the dominant force in Serbian politics, first as prime minister and now in his final term as president.

Supporters praise him for steering Serbia through economic growth and overcoming deep divisions, while critics argue that he concentrated power and undermined democratic norms.

Recently, Vucic called for early elections amid both domestic protests and international pressure to address Serbia’s longstanding issues with Kosovo.

The party he led, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), appears poised to retain power, but a united opposition is aiming to challenge this, particularly in the capital, Belgrade.

Vucic’s political journey began with the far-right Radical Party in the 1990s, advocating for a Greater Serbia. However, he later distanced himself from ultra-nationalism, founded the SNS in 2008, and shifted focus towards EU integration.

While Vucic’s supporters credit him with economic growth and stable Kosovo relations, critics argue that he eroded democratic institutions, distancing Serbia from the EU. The upcoming elections, especially in Belgrade, pose a significant challenge to his authority.

Vucic has also navigated geopolitical relations adeptly, expressing a desire for EU membership while fostering ties with Russia and China. A recent free-trade deal with China has increased Chinese investment in Serbia, aligning with President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.

As Serbia faces elections on December 17, Vucic’s leadership is under scrutiny. The opposition, fueled by public discontent over recent shootings, aims to challenge his grip on power.

However, Vucic remains confident about the election outcome, emphasizing the opposition’s focus on removing him from office.

(Source: BBC News)

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