Europe

Official results confirm Serbia PM Vucic elected president

  • Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic, speaks during a press conference after claiming victory in the presidential election, in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Vucic claimed victory Sunday in the presidential election that was a test of his authoritarian rule amid growing Russian influence in the Balkan region. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic, speaks during a press conference after claiming victory in the presidential election, in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Vucic claimed victory Sunday in the presidential election that was a test of his authoritarian rule amid growing Russian influence in the Balkan region. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • A trumpet band wearing traditional Serbian hats play in front of a picture of current Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic at a press conference after claiming victory in the presidential election, in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Vucic claimed victory Sunday in the presidential election that was a test of his authoritarian rule amid growing Russian influence in the Balkan region. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    A trumpet band wearing traditional Serbian hats play in front of a picture of current Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic at a press conference after claiming victory in the presidential election, in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Vucic claimed victory Sunday in the presidential election that was a test of his authoritarian rule amid growing Russian influence in the Balkan region. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

A near-complete official vote count of Serbia's presidential election has confirmed that prime minister Aleksandar Vucic has won by a landslide in the first round of voting.

The State Election Commission said Monday after counting 91 percent of ballots that Vucic won 55 percent of votes, followed by liberal candidate Sasa Jankovic with 16 percent, and Luka Maksimovic, a parody politician, with 9 percent.

The triumph at Sunday's balloting presents a major boost for Vucic who is now expected to further tighten his already firm grip on power in Serbia.

A former extreme nationalist who has rebranded himself as pro-EU reformer, Vucic has said he wants to lead the Balkan country into the European Union, while pushing for deeper ties to longtime ally Russia.