Serbian President Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has dissolved the National Assembly (parliament) by his decree and scheduled snap parliamentary elections for 17 December. “On the basis of Article 109, paragraphs 1 and 5 of the Constitution of Serbia, in accordance with Article 21, paragraph 1 of the Law on the President of the Republic, in accordance with the reasoned proposal of the Government of the Republic of Serbia dated 30 October 2023, I issue a decree on the dissolution of the National Assembly,” Vucic said. The President also signed the decision on the appointment of elections for the National Assembly’s deputies. The elections are scheduled for 17 December. “Dear citizens, I wish you happy elections, we are living in difficult times for the whole world, in times of global challenges, wars and conflicts, in times when we all need to be united in the struggle to preserve the vital national and state interests of the Republic of Serbia, in times when we will face many pressures due to relations with Kosovo and Metohija and other regional and world problems,” Vucic said in his speech after the announcement of the elections. He said it was very important for Serbia to preserve peace, stability, internal cohesion and demonstrate democracy. “I would say that this campaign is an opportunity to present different ideas, programs, policies in a civilized manner, which should compete but which will never threaten our vital state, people’s and national interests,” Vucic claimed. On Monday, the Serbian Government sent a reasoned proposal to the President of the Republic to dissolve the National Assembly and schedule elections of deputies. According to the government, holding new parliamentary elections in the current circumstances would ensure the highest degree of democracy, reduce the tensions created between opposing positions in society, reject exclusivity and hate speech, and reaffirm the right to freely express opinions and views on certain political, economic and other issues, including further affirmation of European values. The proposal to dissolve parliament states, among other things, that there have been recent calls from the public for new, snap elections for deputies, and that on 11 September, some opposition political parties made such a request to the president. Major anti-government protests have erupted in Serbia this year, sparked by two mass shootings in early May. Amid the protests, Vucic stood down from the leadership of his Serbian Progressive Party to form a broader political movement.