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Serbia's New Government To Be In Power Until Early Elections In 2022

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

BELGRADE – Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says the country's new government will remain in power until new elections are held in less than two years.

Vucic heads the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), which dominates parliament following general elections in June that were boycotted by Serbia's main opposition parties.

He told a news conference after meeting the SNS leadership in Belgrade on October 20 that the new government will be led by Ana Brnabic, the prime minister of the previous cabinet.

The next parliamentary polls will be held by April 2022 at the latest, along with a presidential election, Vucic said.

The president said he wanted the new government to focus its efforts on reforms, not to "have a four-year mandate to enjoy."

Brnabic told national television that all four minority parties that entered parliament have been invited to be in her government, but that they have not answered yet.

"We will see by Sunday [October 25] when I propose the government, whether they'll be a part or not," she said.

Vucic said he expected Brnabic to present the program of her government on October 28.

Major opposition parties boycotted the July election to protest against what they say is Vucic's increasingly autocratic rule over the country, which is seeking membership in the European Union.

Following the vote, his opponents held rallies in Belgrade to protest against the government's policies, including its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

With reporting by Reuters