Serbia's Presidential Election Favorite Thanks Putin, Merkel for Support

© AP Photo / Amel EmricAleksandar Vucic, Serbia's prime minister. File photo
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's prime minister. File photo - Sputnik International
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who is favorite of the presidential election that took place on Sunday, outlined his views on the Belgrade's future policies and thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their support.

BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Serbia will continue its pro-European policy but is going to maintain friendly relations with Russia and China, Vucic said.

“The vast majority of Serbian citizens support continuation of reforms, continuation of the European path of development for Serbia with maintaining traditional friendship with Russia and China, continuation of hard work,” he said.

Vucic also expressed his gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their support.

“I especially would like to express gratitude for Mrs. Merkel and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for their courage to hold negotiations with Serbia and with me as head of the government 15 and three days before the pre-election silence. Thank them for that, that indicates they have positive opinion about Serbia and not bad opinion about me,” Vucic said.

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The prime minister visited Berlin on March 15 and Moscow on March 27.

According to the Serbain Central Election Commission, Vucic is winning the presidential election with 59.79 percent of votes after processing of more than 10 percent of the ballots. The prime minister has already claimed victory in the election.

Vucic is the ruling coalition's candidate and the main favorite of the election. Other notable candidates are independent candidates Sasa Jankovic, Vuk Jeremic, and Luka Maksimovic (also known as Ljubisa Beli Preletacevic), as well as Serbian Radical Party’s head Vojislav Seselj.

The second round of election is scheduled for April 16, provided that none of the hopefuls gets 50 percent of votes.

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