Serbia. In the April 2 presidential election, Prime
Minister Aleksandar Vučić won with 55% of the vote; in
second place came Saša Janković with just over 16%. While
the presidential post is largely ceremonial, many fear that
Vučić will become increasingly authoritarian. Some weeks
after the election, Vučić was accused of electoral fraud by
At the beginning of the year, a minor conflict arose
between Kosovo and Serbia. According to
Countryaah.com, a Serbian train, painted with the
slogan "Kosovo is Serbian", was stopped on January 16 from
crossing to Kosovo. Kosovo President Hashim Thaši was
similar to the provocation of the Russian annexation of the
Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Serbia's then President Tomislav
Nikolić said a group of Kosovo Albanians planned to attack
the train and accused Kosovo of escalating the conflict.
In June, Ana Brnabić was named prime minister. She thus
became Serbia's first female prime minister, as well as the
country's first openly gay. In September, she participated
in the Pride train along the streets of the capital
In November, Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladić was
sentenced to life imprisonment by the UN Tribunal in The
Hague (International Criminal Tribunal for Former
Yugoslavia, ICTY). He was convicted of, among other things,
genocide and crimes against humanity (for example, the 1995
massacre at Srebrenica and the four-year siege of Sarajevo).
In May 2005, the Montenegro authorities decided to
conduct a referendum in early 2006 on the country's
independence from the Serbia-Montenegro Union. Foreign
Minister Miodrag Vlahovic acknowledged that it was about
establishing "natural circumstances" around the state of
Montenegro. Critics, however, emphasized that the underlying
reason was that Montenegro wanted to improve its
opportunities for admission into the EU. A criticism,
however, that was rejected by Vlahovic.
In February 2006, negotiations began with the UN on the
future of Kosovo. In March, however, Kosova Albanians
appointed former rebel leader Agim Ceku as new prime
minister. That led to a sharp reaction from the Serbian side
that issued an arrest warrant on Ceku accused of being
behind the killing of Serbs in both Kosova and Croatia.
In June, Montenegro conducted its scheduled referendum on
independence. It provided a significant majority for
independence and the day after the referendum Serbia
declared itself independent. The old federation was dead.
The parliamentary elections in January 2007 were won by
the Serbian Radical Party, but no party got an absolute
majority. On May 8, the leader of the radicals, Tomislav
Nikolić, was appointed chairman of parliament. Already five
days later, however, the strongly nationalist and right-wing
president was again removed from the post following strong
pressure from the EU and the US.
The May 2008 parliamentary elections were won by Tadic's
ZES coalition, which gained 38.4% of the vote. The second
largest party became Šešelj's Radical Party with 29.5%.
After the election, President Mirko Cvetković appointed a
new Prime Minister for a government of ZES and several
smaller parties. Šešelj himself was sentenced in July 2009
to 15 months in prison by the International Criminal
Tribunal for violating the rules on witness protection. He
continues to be charged with war crimes.
In January 2009, Kosova declared itself independent. This
led to immediate recognition by the US and several EU
countries. Belgrade protested fiercely, and Russia also
warned of the consequences of Western recognition of Kosova.