Serbia Government and Politics

State and politics

Serbia Country Flag

Reference: Serbia Flag Meaning


According to, Serbia is a state based on “European values”, where the executive power belongs to the president, who is elected for five years. Admittedly, the president has limited powers of power can still exert great influence over Serbian politics. The legislative power lies in a single-chamber parliament (Narodna Skupština Srbije) with 250 members, elected for four years.


The first free elections in December 1990 were largely won by the Socialist Party (SPS), that is, the Reformed Communist Party, whose leader Slobodan Milošević simultaneously won in the Serbian presidential election. After Milošević has served his two permitted terms of office, he was succeeded in 1997 by Milan Milutinović in the post of Serbian president. Milošević instead went on to win the election of federal Yugoslav president. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of SCG and its meanings of Serbia.

In connection with the NATO bombings against Yugoslavia during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, political tension in the sub-republic increased. Zoran Đinđić, the leader of the Democratic Party (DS), began organizing the opposition with a view to enforcing the resignation of the government and announcing new elections. The political conflict culminated in the federal presidential and parliamentary elections in September 2000, when Serbia’s democratic opposition (DOS, comprising 18 parties with the DS at the head) defeated Milošević and his socialist party in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Following Milošević’s fall in 2000, relatively liberal and reform-friendly party coalitions have been in power, but their position has not been obvious. The 18-party DOS alliance could not be held together in the long run, partly because of personal contradictions, and for a long time the Nationalist and Populist Radical Party (RS) was the largest single party in parliament. In the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, Tadić won by just a margin over party leader Tomislav Nikolić.

However, the RS subsequently became marginalized after Nikolić took large parts of this and formed a new party, the Progressive Party (SNS), which unlike SRS wants to see Serbia as a member of the EU. Although the SNS is also a nationalist party, it is said above all to fight for social justice in the crisis-hit Serbia.

In the spring 2012 parliamentary elections, SNS became the largest single party and came to form the backbone of the coalition government that was eventually formed under Ivica Dačić, leader of Milošević’s old Socialist Party (SPS), which has now shrunk substantially but gained a new, more reform-friendly leadership.

The party was part of the DS-led government established after the 2008 parliamentary elections. Most people had expected a new DS-led government under the outgoing President Boris Tadić after the 2012 election, but the Socialist Party chose instead to cooperate with the SNS. One contributing reason was that, in May 2012, Tomislav Nikolić won, somewhat surprisingly, the earlier presidential election in a second, decisive round. For the first time since Milošević’s fall in 2000, Serbia came to have a completely nationalist leadership.

SNS’s hope of further strengthening the party’s position to make it difficult to implement difficult reforms led to a new election to Parliament in March 2014.

The party also managed to get close to half of the votes and 158 of Parliament’s 250 seats, while the Socialist Party, SPS, received 13.5 percent and 44 seats. Three small parties among the country’s minorities split into eleven places. In addition, only two parties passed the five percent blockade to Parliament: the Democratic Party, DS, which got 19 seats and the New Democratic Party (Nova Democratic Stranka, NDS) which received 18 seats; the parties each got about 6 percent of the votes.

Even before the successful 2014 elections, SNS had been the largest party in parliament. It now also ruled all major cities and there were those who warned that the party was gaining too much power.

The party’s election success from 2014 was repeated in the 2016 parliamentary elections and in the 2017 presidential election when the party leader and the country’s prime minister Aleksandar Vučić, who was expecting to win. He already won in the first round of the elections with over 50 percent of the vote without meeting any real opposition from the country’s divided opposition.

Aleksandar Vučić was Minister of Information under Slobodan Milošević’s government, where he played a key role in the government’s work in silencing regime-critical media. Vučić’s political history as well as ever-increasing powers of power became the subject of debate before the 2017 election, though without being reflected in the election results.

Vučićs is expected to use his new position of power to continue to bring Serbia closer to EU membership and at the same time maintain the historically strong ties to the Russian Federation.

The EU

The attitude towards the EU and Kosovo are issues that have aroused, and aroused, strong feelings between and within the political parties. However, most parties, some more reluctant than others, have been favorably positioned in the EU. In December 2009, the Serbian government applied for full EU membership, in March 2012 Serbia was granted candidate status and in January 2014 membership negotiations with the EU began. However, these were not expected to be completed until 2020.

One EU demand was that Serbia should establish good relations with Kosovo, the Serbian province which declared its independence on February 17, 2008. However, the EU did not require Serbia to recognize Kosovo. With the help of the EU, the Serbian and Kosovan Prime Ministers initiated talks, which in April 2013 resulted in an agreement in which Serbia for the first time acknowledged Kosovo’s supremacy over the Serb-dominated northern Kosovo against allowing it far-reaching autonomy.

Serbia Head of Government

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