Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has called a general election for April 26, which most opposition parties are expected to boycott over corruption and complaints of a lack of democratic freedoms in the Balkan nation.
In announcing the date on March 4, Vucic noted that by calling the election now, the election campaign will be more than 50 days, one of the longest in the country's history.
“I wish everyone the best of luck and that everything takes place in a democratic atmosphere. It is important for everything to proceed peacefully, democratically, and for the people to choose their representatives at will,” Vucic said during the announcement of the vote.
Opposition parties have indicated they will boycott the elections over accusations that there is not a level playing field for the campaign.
Serbian independent media have repeatedly complained of being pressured by officials and have accused the government of fueling an atmosphere of intolerance toward journalists.
Vucic, who has vowed to lead Serbia toward European Union membership while also developing ties with China and traditional ally Russia, has been accused of curbing media freedoms and democracy.
Vucic he has denied the accusations.