Whistling crowd protests Vucic's presidential election win

The Kremlin said Putin had "expressed confidence that (Vucic's) work as head of state will promote the further development of the Russian-Serbian strategic partnership".

Blowing whistles and chanting slogans against Vucic, the crowd stopped traffic in front of Serbia's parliament building on Monday.

Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic celebrates his win in presidential election at his headquarters in Belgrade April 2, 2017.

The protesters have for the second day gathered after calls on social media to rally against his "dictatorship".

Some observers, however, have voiced concerns that Vucic's dominance could push the Balkan country back into the autocracy that Yugoslavia's late strongman Slobodan Milosevic symbolized during his decade in power. Putin reportedly has promised his signature on the delivery of fighter planes, battle tanks and armored vehicles to Serbia. The move triggered fears of an arms race in the war-weary Balkans.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said Monday that Vucic has a "certain responsibility" in light of Sunday's polls "to use this strong support by the citizens in a careful way".

"A huge majority of people in Serbia support continuation of the European path for Serbia, along with preserving our traditionally good ties with Russian Federation and China", Vucic said, characterizing his victory as "crystal clear".

With 92% of votes counted, Vucic won 55.1%, followed by former Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic with 16,7%, and comedian Luka Maksimovic (Ljubisa Preletacevic) with 9,5%.

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

"We'll see, I wouldn't be engaged in politics any longer, but I have established such good contacts for Serbia, that I could help Serbia, I would say, with the unprecedented friendship I have with at least a few presidents with whom we get a lot done, and I will talk about this both with Vucic, and with the future prime minister", he said.

  • Leroy Wright