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Serbia: election campaign draws to a close, Vucic favourite

Potential gains for Extreme Right in Sunday vote

21 April, 16:10

 (ANSA)- BELGRADE - Electoral campaigning in Serbia ends at midnight on Thursday ahead of the national vote on Sunday.

Friday and Saturday will be days of pre-election silence.

Conservative Premier Aleksandar Vucic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the majority power that is leading in all surveys, plans to hold a closing rally in the Kombank Arena.

Speakers here will include former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who is President of the Italian Society for International Organisation (SIOI), an adviser to the Serbian government and to Premier Vucic over issues related to European integration. The vote in Serbia is being held two years in advance of the natural end of the current legislature, and is set to be monitored by more than 1,800 observers, including 1,687 locals and 196 foreigners. Observers will be present from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, and from varying foreign embassies in Belgrade including the Italian embassy.

Serbs from Kosovo will also be eligible to vote (there are about 120,000 out of a total of 2 million inhabitants), in about ninety seats set up with the help of the OSCE.

While election analysts are expecting success for Premier Vucic and his SNS party, a significant boost for the anti-EU, pro-Russia extreme-right forces is also potentially on the cards, following the acquittal of Vojislav Seselj, ideologist of Serbian ultra-nationalism, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. (ANSA).

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