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Serbia votes in snap polls amid economic gloom

Published on Mar 17, 2014 1:17 AM

BELGRADE (AFP) - Serbians voted in snap polls on Sunday, with the ruling centre-right SNS party tipped to cement its grip on power on promises of economic reforms that would help lead the Balkan country into the EU.

With ballooning public debt, a bloated public sector and record unemployment, the dire state of the economy has eclipsed the thorny issue of Kosovo as the key voter concern.

The outgoing SNS-dominated cabinet, led by Socialist Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, won support from Brussels to begin membership talks only after a historic accord with long-time foe Kosovo last year.

The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and its leader Aleksandar Vucic - tipped to become the next premier - called early polls in order to win a new mandate to push ahead with economic reforms.

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