Sun., 6:05 pm: Poll: ruling party wins big in Serbian election

BELGRADE, Serbia – The ruling center-right party that has vowed to overhaul Serbia’s struggling economy and push for membership in the European Union won a landslide victory in a parliamentary vote today, according to unofficial results.

The Belgrade-based independent CeSID polling group said the Serbian Progressive Party won about 160 seats in in the country’s 250-seat parliament. Its coalition partner in the current Serbian government, the Socialist Party of Serbia, came in second, with about 50 seats.

The rest of the seats went to the pro-Western Democratic Party and the New Democratic Party of former President Boris Tadic, the two groups that split up before the vote.

It was the most convincing victory by a party since the multiparty system was introduced in Serbia in the early 1990s. Official results are expected Monday, but all parties taking part in the vote confirmed the unofficial results.

The Progressives are expected to choose their leader Aleksandar Vucic – a former hard-line, pro-Russian nationalist who has become a pro-EU advocate – as prime minister.

In his victory speech, Vucic pledged to vigorously fight against corruption and crime, and revive the economy in the troubled Balkan nation of about 7 million people.

“We are facing tough reforms,” Vucic said. “But Serbia has a future in which our children will live much better.”