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Serbia’s powerful PM Aleksandar Vucic favoured to win presidential election

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-04-2017 AP

Belgrade, Serbia: Voters in Serbia are casting ballots in a presidential election seen as a test of public support for populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and his autocratic rule.

Vucic, an ultranationalist turned a pro-EU politician, is slated to win by a high margin against 10 opposition candidates. His political clout could face a blow, however, if he does not sweep his opponents in the first round of voting on Sunday.

Vucic needs to win by more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run off election on 16 April that would put him in a much trickier position against a single opposition candidate.

Vucic, prime minister since 2014, is expected to use his win to appoint a figurehead successor and transform the presidency from a ceremonial office into a more muscular role.

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