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Serbian Prime Minister Loses Ground In Repeat Elections

Serbian Prime Minister and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party Aleksandar Vucic at a polling station during elections on April 24, 2016

Results from a May 4 repeat vote at 15 polling stations in Serbia appear to show Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's Progressive Party has lost ground in its attempt to strengthen its mandate for European integration.

Preliminary results from the May 4 repeat vote show the far-right, anti-Western Dveri movement has successfully surpassed the minimum 5 percent threshold needed for parliamentary representation.

It appears that Dveri, which failed to clear the 5 percent barrier in 2012 and 2014, will now have 13 seats in the 250-member parliament.

That means there will be a stronger voice in parliament for those who oppose Serbia's efforts to become a member of the European Union.

Had Dveri failed to clear the 5 percent hurdle, seven seats it secured in an April 24 nationwide vote would have gone to Vucic's party instead.

Vucic's party is now set to control 131 parliamentary seats -- enough for a majority in the legislature, but 27 seats less than before the April 24 vote.

Vucic had called for early elections halfway through his term, saying he wanted a stronger mandate to carry out reforms and push forward with EU membership talks.

He had hoped his party would gain enough seats to control a two-thirds majority of parliament.

The repeat vote on May 4 involved fewer than 20,000 voters at 15 polling stations where irregularities had been reported during the April 24 elections.

With reporting by dpa and
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