2008 Serbian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Serbia on 11 May 2008 to elect members of the National Assembly. The election was held barely a year after the previous parliamentary election. There were 6,749,886 eligible electors who were able to vote in 8,682 voting places, as well as 157 special voting stations for refugees from Kosovo.

2008 Serbian parliamentary election
Serbia
← 2007 11 May 2008 2012 →

All 250 seats in the National Assembly
126 seats needed for a majority
Turnout61.33% Increase 0.72 pp
Party Leader % Seats +/–
DS coalition Boris Tadić 39.25 102 +15
SRS Tomislav Nikolić 30.10 78 -3
DSSNS Vojislav Koštunica 11.87 30 -13
SPS coalition Ivica Dačić 7.75 20 +2
LDPDHSSSDU Čedomir Jovanović 5.35 13 +2
Minority lists
MK István Pásztor 1.85 4 +1
List for Sandžak Sulejman Ugljanin 0.94 2 0
KSLP Riza Halimi 0.41 1 0
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Results of 2008 Serbian parliamentary election by municipalities.png
Results by municipalities
  ZES   SRS   DSSNS   MK   LZS   KSLP
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Vojislav Koštunica
DSS
Mirko Cvetković
Independent

BackgroundEdit

The Government of Serbia had passed through weeks of severe crisis after the unilateral declaration of independence of its southern province of Kosovo on 17 February 2008. Its stability, however, was also tested and questioned before, being comprised by two very different political currents. Kosovo's independence was gradually recognized by the United States and numerous European Union countries, leading to strain in their relations with Serbia. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) offered in late February to the Democratic Party (Serbia) (DS), which holds governmental majority, a restructuring of the governmental contract including an annex according to which Serbia can continue European exclusively with Kosovo as its integral part. The controversy was further heated up when Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for enlargement of the European Union, offered to continue negotiations with Serbia. President Boris Tadić of the DS responded that European integrations of Serbia cannot be questioned by anyone or anything, and that since the province of Kosovo-Metohija is written into the constitution, meaning that the proposal would mean that the Constitution is being questioned.

After days of DS and G17+ utilising their majority to outnumber the DSS-New Serbia (NS) populist coalition, the Premier finally stated on 8 March 2008 in a press conference that the government had fallen. He scheduled an irregular session of the Serbian government for 10 March 2008, in which his proposal to issue a request to the President to dismiss the parliament and schedule pre-term parliamentary elections for 11 May 2008, the same as the local elections. In the event that this did not occur, he would announce his imminent resignation. Subsequently, all parliamentary leaders, save for Ivica Dačić of the Socialist Party of Serbia who called for forming a government of national unity and Dragan Marković Palma of United Serbia, supported his proposal. Hours later, the President confirmed he would dismiss the parliament and schedule the election upon receiving the government's request, although unlike the PM he stated that there is no dispute in the government regarding Kosovo, but exclusively regarding European integration. The dissolution took place on 13 March 2008.[1]

A revote was held in three polling stations (in Kraljevo, Žagubica and Srbica) on 18 May 2008 due to irregularities in the electoral process.[2]

Electoral listsEdit

A list of registered electoral lists:[3]

# Ballot name Ballot carrier Main ideology Political position Note
1
Dragoljub Mićunović Social liberalism Centre to centre-left
2
  • Liberal Democratic Party – Čedomir Jovanović
  • LDP, SDU, DHSS
Čedomir Jovanović Liberalism Centre
3
  • Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia – Vojislav Koštunica
  • DSS, NS
Vojislav Koštunica National conservatism Right-wing
4
  • Serbian Radical Party – Dr Vojislav Šešelj
  • SRS
Vojislav Šešelj Ultranationalism Far-right
5
Ivica Dačić Populism Big tent
6
Sulejman Ugljanin Minority politics Centre to
centre-right
M
7
István Pásztor Minority politics Centre-right
M
8
Snežana Miljković Reformism Centre
9
Radiša Pavlović Agrarianism Right-wing
10
Dragomir Karić Conservatism Centre-right
11
  • Civic Initiative of Gora – GIG
  • GIG
Orhan Dragaš Minority politics
M
12
Predrag Balašević Minority politics Centre
M
13
Zoran Trifunac Vojvodina autonomism Left-wing
14
  • Romas for Roma – Miloš Paunković
  • RZR
Miloš Paunković Minority politics
M
15
  • Montenegrin Party – Nenad Stevović[4]
  • CP
Nenad Stevović Minority politics
M
16
  • Roma Union of Serbia – dr Rajko Đurić
  • URS
Rajko Đurić Minority politics
M
17
Riza Halimi Minority politics Centre-right
M
18
  • Alliance of Bunjevci of Bačka – Mirko Bajić
  • SBB
Mirko Bajić Minority politics
M
19
  • My Serbia Movement – Branislav Lečić
  • MS
Branislav Lečić Liberalism Centre
20
  • People's Movement for Serbia – Milan Paroški
  • NPS
Milan Paroški Serbian nationalism Right-wing
21
  • Patriotic Party of the Diaspora – Zoran Milinković
  • PSD
Branko Opačić Diaspora politics
22
  • Roma Party – Srđan Šajn
  • RP
Srđan Šajn Minority politics
M

M — national minority list

CampaignEdit

The parties' campaign slogans for the 2008 election:

Party English slogan Serbian slogan
For a European Serbia For a European Serbia Za evropsku Srbiju
Liberal Democratic Party Spread further!
Serbia without borders
Širi dalje!
Srbija bez granica
DSS-NS Support Serbia! Podrži Srbiju!
Serbian Radical Party Go Serbia! Napred Srbijo!
SPS-PUPS-JS Stand up Serbia Ustani Srbijo
Strength of Serbia Movement Not giving Serbia up Ne dam Srbiju

Party listsEdit

For a European Serbia coalitionEdit

 
1. For a European Serbia - Boris Tadić

President Boris Tadić has gathered a large pro-EU coalition around his DS and G17 Plus. On the list 166 candidates are from DS, 60 from G17+ and 8 members from each of the following parties Sanjak Democratic Party and League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina. 25 seats are guaranteed for G17+, 4 seats and a Ministry in the future government for both SDP and SPO and 3 seats for LSV. However, if the alliance wins over 100 seats, their seats will gradually increase. The list's name is For a European Serbia – Boris Tadić and its leader is Dragoljub Mićunović.

The List won 102 seats, of which 25 went to G17+.

DSS-NS coalitionEdit

The populist coalition of incumbent Prime Minister Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and their coalition partner New Serbia (NS) ran together in the election. 70% of the seats went to DSS and 30% to NS. Its campaign slogan was Support Serbia!. Koštunica was its candidate for Prime Minister.

The Populists won 30 seats, 21 of which went to DSS and 9 to NS.

Serbian Radical PartyEdit

The Serbian Radical Party ran alone in this parliamentary election. The party presented its list of 250 candidates.

SPS-PUPS-JS coalitionEdit

 
5. Rise up Serbia!

The Socialist Party of Serbia and the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia have strengthened their links by forming a coalition, on which United Serbia and Movement of Veterans of Serbia will be present. 151 candidates are from SPS (with 1 from PVS), 69 from PUPS and 30 from JS. The Socialists' presidential candidate Milutin Mrkonjić was nominated for Prime Minister.

Liberal DemocratsEdit

Liberal Democratic Party, Social Democratic Union and the Christian Democratic Party of Serbia formed pre-electoral coalition. Čedomir Jovanović was its candidate for Prime Minister.

MinoritiesEdit

The Party for Democratic Action is determined to go on the election and gather the ethnic Albanian minority parties from the Preševo Valley. The Hungarian Coalition of Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, Democratic Fellowship of Vojvodina Hungarians and Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians ran together after the presidential elections success in an attempt to strengthen the Magyar minority's representation. The Civic Initiative of Gora ran for the first time representing the Goranis in the Serbian parliament for the very first time. The Bosniak Democratic Party of Sandžak gathered a Bosniac List – For a European Sanjak – Sulejman Ugljanin (Бошњачка листа – За европски Санџак – Сулејман Угљанин) coalition.

On proposal of SRS the electoral boards has changed the electoral rules for the minority parties, which now need the standard 10,000 signatures instead of privileged 3,000. This has caused an outbreak of public protest amongst Roma and Albanian minorities, who consider this a scandalous removal of positive discrimination of the national minorities, as it opens the question whether they could accumulate that many signatures in time.

Opinion pollsEdit

Party Medium Gallup,
March 2008
Strategic Marketing,
March 2008
CeSID,
May 2008
Medium Gallup,
May 2008
SRS 91 90 86 90
ZES 88 83 81 85
DSS-NS 30 30 35 30
SPS 16 17 19 19
LDP 15 20 19 16
minorities 10 10 10 10
total 250 250 250 250
  • Election References:[5]
 
Diaspora voting results

ResultsEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
For a European Serbia[a]1,590,20039.25102+15
Serbian Radical Party1,219,43630.1078–3
Democratic Party of SerbiaNew Serbia[b]480,98711.8730–13
SPS coalition[c]313,8967.7520+2
Liberal Democratic Party coalition[d]216,9025.3513+2
Hungarian Coalition[e]74,8741.854+1
Bosniak List for a European Sandžak[f]38,1480.9420
Strength of Serbia Movement22,2500.5500
Albanian Coalition of Preševo Valley16,8010.4110
People's Peasant Party12,0010.3000
Reformist Party10,5630.2600
Roma Party9,1030.220–1
My Serbia Movement8,8790.220New
United Vlachs of Serbia6,9560.170New
Civic Initiative of Gora5,4530.130New
Romas for Roma5,1150.130New
Roma Union of Serbia4,7320.120–1
Vojvodina's Party4,2080.1000
People's Movement for Serbia3,7950.090New
Montenegrin Party2,9230.070New
Alliance of Bačka Bunjevci2,0230.050New
Patriotic Party of the Diaspora1,9910.050New
Total4,051,236100.002500
Valid votes4,051,23697.87
Invalid/blank votes88,1482.13
Total votes4,139,384100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,749,68861.33
Source: Republican Electoral Commission

Government formationEdit

SRS has declared post-electoral cooperation forming a government with DSS, which in turn didn't disregard this possibility, but stated that there will be no more cooperation with DS or G17+, on the allegation that they do not really want to protect Kosovo. NS excluded cooperation with G17+ and LSV, calling them "anti-state" parties who "had brought down the government twice", but also did not rule out a coalition with the SRS, and furthermore claimed that the DS had talked with the DSS about throwing G17+ out of the government and having it supported by the SPS.[6] SPS-PUPS-JS confirmed its determined to form a post-electoral coalition with SRS and DSS-NS[7] and excluded the possibility of any cooperation with the Europeists because of G17+ and LSV, but its leaders have continually left an option of open dialog with the DS.

The European Coalition excluded all cooperation with SRS and stated that all other coalitions are in option, as long as they accept the pro-EU cause and the five principles of the former government. Regarding coalition with DSS, Koštunica can no longer count on the PM seat. LDP however, excluded the possibility to take part in any government with DSS, SPS or NS under any circumstance.

According to a post-electoral poll conducted by Strategic Marketing from 22 to 24 May 2008, 51% of the citizens support a pro-European Coalition with the Socialists and minority support (ZES, SPS-PUPS-JS & minorities), 45% a Patriotic government (SRS, DSS-NS & SPS-PUPS-JS) and 6% are undecided. On the question regarding the possibility of repeated elections:

  • ZES - 111
  • SRS - 75
  • DSS-NS - 28
  • SPS-PUPS-JS - 16
  • LDP - 13
  • minorities - 7

After long and difficult negotiations, the new pro-European government was formed on 7 July 2008 by 128 out of 250 parliamentary votes of ZES, SPS-PUPS-JS and 6 of 7 minorities representatives. Mirko Cvetković became the new Prime Minister, a non-partisan candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Involvement of the United StatesEdit

"We got him to flip over and join the pro-Europeans...he put a knife in Koštunica's back."

US Ambassador Cameron Munter on Ivica Dačić[8]

After the embassy of the United States was set on fire during the protest against Kosovo's declaration of independence on February 17, 2008, Ambassador Cameron Munter insisted on undermining Prime Minister Koštunica's party, DSS. His rationale was based on an allegation that Koštunica approved of an attack on the US embassy during demonstrations.[8] Munter helped arrange a meeting for SPS leader Ivica Dačić with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and George Papandreou, who helped persuade Dačić to have his party form a majority pro-European coalition, as opposed to remaining in the bloc with DSS. After the election was over, SPS joined the coalition supported by the US and Dačić was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ B92 - News - Politics - Tadić to dissolve parliament on March 13 Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ B92 – News – Politics – Revote ongoing in six polling stations Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ RIK confirms final ballot list Archived November 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 15. Crnogorska partija - Nenad Stevović
  5. ^ "DS coalition wins, set to seek coalition partners". b92.net. 11 May 2008. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
  6. ^ B92 - News - Politics - Ilić won't rule out coalition with Radicals Archived March 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ B92 - Vesti - Dačić: Osvojiti što više glasova - Internet, Radio i TV stanica; najnovije vesti iz Srbije
  8. ^ a b c Nicholas Kralev (September 13, 2012). "America's Other Army". Foreign Policy. Retrieved April 30, 2019.