Europe

German FM praises Serbian PM, says protests show democracy

  • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic attends a news conference, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic attends a news conference, in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Gabriel is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's foreign minister has praised the role of Serbia's president-elect in maintaining stability in the Balkans saying that daily protests against Aleksandar Vucic's election victory are part of the democratic process.

Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday after talks with Vucic in Belgrade that it's important the demonstrations that have been held throughout the country every day since the April 2 vote, remain peaceful.

Gabriel says "Serbia is a factor of stability in the region."

Current Serbian Prime Minister Vucic polled 55 percent in the presidential ballot and avoided a runoff. Opposition leaders have alleged irregularities, including muzzling the media during the campaign and voter intimidation and bribery.

Vucic has dismissed the allegations. He said Wednesday that the protests present "an expression of Serbia's democratic strength."