BELGRADE, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Aleksandar Vucic, incumbent prime minister of Serbia, declared victory Sunday evening in the country's presidential elections, pledging to continue reforms, European integration and anti-corruption efforts, along with good relations with China and Russia.

Vucic won 57.03 percent of votes in the presidential elections, according to the first official preliminary results of Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) based on 56.56 percent of counted votes.

Voter turnout was around 54 percent, according to RIK.

Vucic expressed his satisfaction with the fact that he won such a great number of votes in tough conditions.

"I am very proud of the fact that we won huge support of Serbian citizens," he said. "It is important that Serbia shows where it wants to go, and that this victory is clean."

The preliminary results also showed that former ombudsman Sasa Jankovic came in second with 14.89 percent. Comedian and political activist Luka Maksimovic won 9.04 percent of votes, while former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic won 5.33 percent.

The RIK will announce the final results of the elections 96 hours after the polls are closed.



In a speech delivered at his Progressive Party's headquarters, Vucic said Serbia has achieved a lot since 2014 when he became prime minister, stressing the importance of continuing the fight against corruption and strengthening of democratic institutions.

"For me, it is important that the elections showed that the large majority of people are for the continuation of reforms and Serbia's integration to the European Union (EU), along with maintaining traditional friendships with Russia and China, as well as continuation of hard work," Vucic said.

He said that the new government will be formed in about two months, during which he will continue to be the prime minister.

"Results of the elections show that it's clear there cannot be instability here, and that Serbia will get even stronger and absolutely secure," Vucic said, pledging to diligently and dedicatedly work on creating a more successful and modern Serbia.

He said in next two months he is scheduled to visit China once more as the prime minister.


Experts said that election results have proven people's support for the reforms and austerity measures of the government of Vucic, despite criticism from both pro-EU and anti-EU oppositions.

Professor Vladimir Vuletic of the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Belgrade University said the results came expectedly and the biggest mystery was who will stand out in these elections as the new leader of the opposition, and this person might be Jankovic, the second-ranked candidate.

He said there should be no major changes in Serbia's political scene and Serbia will "continue politically in the same way as it did, both in foreign and domestic issues."

Sociologist Milan Nikolic said the opposition lost the elections because they did not come out united, but proposed several candidates.

Economist Vladimir Krulj said that the election results provided an answer to the question that media frequently asked: Do citizens support the economic policy of Vucic's or not?