Eventful times for SEE’s political life
The economic recession determined an eventful political year in the SEE region in 2012 and the first half of 2013. Parliamentary, presidential and local elections, impeachment process, no-confidence votes and a new EU member in the face of Croatia were the features of the political picture in the region. Most of the countries ended up with left-wing governments as a result of the harsh economic conditions. General elections were held in Albania, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria amid mass protest rallies. In Albania, Montenegro and Romania the leftist parties won the elections and formed cabinets.
In Bulgaria, the centre-right party GERB won a slim victory in the snap elections but failed to secure enough seats in parliament to govern alone. A Cabinet, backed by the Socialists’ Coalition for Bulgaria and the ethnic Turks’ Movement for Rights and Freedoms, was set up.
The Alliance for a European Albania led by the Socialist Party achieved a landslide victory in Albania’s parliamentary elections held in June 2013. According to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) the elections were conducted with respect for basic freedoms but the killing of a party supporter in the town of Lac, northwestern Albania, and other isolated cases of violence raised concerns about the state of democracy in the country.
In December 2012 the Montenegrin parliament voted into office the country’s new cabinet headed by Milo Djukanovic, after his centre-left coalition won the general elections. In his speech before parliament Djukanovic pledged to lead Montenegro towards EU and NATO membership and to accelerate the fight against corruption and organised crime.
Elections for the largely ceremonial presidential post in Montenegro took place in April 2013. The country’s incumbent president Filip Vujanovic won and will serve a third term in office. Vujanovic was the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Socialists.
In 2012 Romania saw anti-government protests, a resignation of the prime minister, a successful non-confidence vote, local elections, a national referendum on the impeachment of the president and parliamentary elections. In February 2012, Romania’s prime minister Emil Boc of the Democratic Liberal Party decided to resign, following several weeks of anti-government protests across the country. The demonstrations were against the tough austerity measures which have hurt Romanians' living standards. The measures were demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for a multi-billion dollar loan. The protesters also demanded the resignation of president Traian Basescu and that led to a national referendum on his impeachment in July 2012. Basescu survived the referendum due to low voter turnout, even though more than 87% of the votes were against him.
Following the general elections held in December 2012, Romania’s parliament approved the cabinet line-up proposed by prime minister Victor Ponta, leader of the left-wing Social Democratic Party.
The political turbulence in Romania is likely to hinder structural reforms, jeopardise fiscal consolidation and is credit negative for the country, according to Moody's Investors Service.
In May 2012 Serbia held combined presidential and parliamentary elections. The vote was preceded by protest rallies against the unfavourable socioeconomic environment and the widespread corruption. The protests were organised by the centre-right Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Following the elections SNS got 73 seats in the country's new legislature while the alliance led by the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (DS) garnered 67 seats.
SNS won the presidential vote in May 2012, as well, after its candidate Tomislav Nikolic defeated the incumbent Boris Tadic by a narrow
General elections were held in Albania, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria amid mass protest rallies.
margin in the runoff. The ballot results showed that Nikolic, who is also SNS’s founder and president, had 49.54% of the votes compared to 47.31% for outgoing president Boris Tadic.
The Slovenian political life featured a rejection of the premier-designate, a successful no-confidence vote and presidential elections in 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Slovenia’s government crisis began in September 2011 when the parliament voted out the cabinet led by Borut Pahor in a confidence vote. That led to snap elections in December 2011. The crisis deepened after the winner in the vote, Ljubljana’s mayor Zoran Jankovic, was rejected by the parliament in January 2012. The situation cooled down in February 2012 when the Slovenian parliament endorsed the