Europe

Serbia profile - Leaders

President: Aleksandar Vucic

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic Image copyright SERGEI KARPUKHIN / Stringer/AFP

Outgoing prime minister Aleksandar Vucic won the April 2017 presidential election with more than 55% of the vote in the first round.

He stood as candidate for the nationalist Progressive Party, which supports joining the European Union, announcing his bid only in February. His party ally, the outgoing president Tomislav Tomic, backed his candidacy.

Born in 1970, Mr Vucic joined the Radical Party of ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj in 1993, and served as information minister in 1998-2000 in a government that loyally backed hard-line nationalist President Milosevic.

Along with future President Nikolic, in 2008 he left the Radicals to found the more moderate Progressive Party.

Mr Vucic won a landslide victory in early parliamentary elections in March 2014, and pledged a radical overhaul of Serbia's ailing economy and an accelerated drive towards EU membership.

He campaigned to combat endemic corruption and widespread hardship, and reshuffled an existing coalition with the Socialist Party.

As president he is expected to steer a course of maintaining good relations with both the EU and Russia, and to adopt a flexible policy on the status of Kosovo.

Prime minister (acting): Ivica Dacic

Image copyright PATRICK DOMINGO / Stringer/AFP

Socialist leader and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic assumed the acting premiership in May 2017, on the election to the presidency of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.His party has been in coalition with the Progressive Party since 2012, and Mr Dacic served as prime minister in his own right up to 2014.