After Winning Big, Serbia’s Progressives May Take on Political Risks—and Rewards—Alone

After Winning Big, Serbia’s Progressives May Take on Political Risks—and Rewards—Alone

Last month, Serbia held parliamentary elections in which the conservative and pro-EU Progressive party won a decisive majority in the legislature. In an email interview, Marlene Spoerri, U.N. officer at Independent Diplomat who has done research on democracy promotion and post-conflict statebuilding in the Western Balkans, explained what led to the victory and what comes next.

WPR: What factors led to the Progressive party's decisive victory in Serbia's parliamentary elections?

Marlene Spoerri: A number of factors contributed to the Progressive party’s victory in the March 2014 parliamentary elections. The first is the party’s pro-EU, center-right platform. Since it was formed as a breakaway offshoot of Serbia’s far-right Serbian Radical Party in 2008, the Progressive party has adopted a populist rhetoric that combines support for EU accession with strong nationalism. This winning combination has allowed it to undermine the popularity both of Serbia’s far right and its pro-EU reformists.

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