Europe

Serbia's presidential vote set for April 2

  • In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic gestures during a press conference, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia's parliament speaker has set April 2, 2017 as the date for the country's presidential election when a populist leader is to face a challenge from fractured opposition. Serbia's current populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is considered a clear favorite to win the presidency. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic gestures during a press conference, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia's parliament speaker has set April 2, 2017 as the date for the country's presidential election when a populist leader is to face a challenge from fractured opposition. Serbia's current populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is considered a clear favorite to win the presidency. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Dec. 13, 2016, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic gestures during a press conference, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia's parliament speaker has set April 2, 2017 as the date for the country's presidential election when a populist leader is to face a challenge from fractured opposition. Serbia's current populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is considered a clear favorite to win the presidency. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    In this photo taken Dec. 13, 2016, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic gestures during a press conference, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia's parliament speaker has set April 2, 2017 as the date for the country's presidential election when a populist leader is to face a challenge from fractured opposition. Serbia's current populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is considered a clear favorite to win the presidency. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Serbia's parliament speaker has set April 2 as the date for the country's presidential election when a populist leader is to face a challenge from fractured opposition.

The date announced Thursday by parliament speaker Maja Gojkovic means that the second round would be held on the Easter Sunday, April 16, if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

Serbia's current populist prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, is considered a clear favorite to win the presidency.

He will face several opposition candidates, including liberal Sasa Jankovic, former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj.

Although the post is largely ceremonial, the outcome of the vote could determine whether the country continues on its EU membership path or will move toward its traditional ally Russia.