Serbian govt formally asks president to call early vote

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2016 11:46 AM

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Serbian government has formally asked the president to dissolve parliament and schedule an early election in the Balkan country.

The government said Thursday the early vote is necessary so that a new Cabinet with a clear mandate could pursue economic and other reforms on the way toward European Union membership.

President Tomislav Nikolic's office says he will sign the election decree Friday.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says the election will be held on April 24. Vucic, a former extreme nationalist who now says he is a pro-EU reformer, has sought an early vote in an apparent bid to consolidate power.

Vucic's populist Progressive Party is currently allied with several smaller parties in a coalition government. Vucic is widely expected to lead the next Serbian government as well.