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Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia suffers defeat at elections

March 19, 2014, 23:56 UTC+3 ) - Vojislav Kostunica

He steps down as party leader

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Ex-prime minister of Serbia Kostunica

Ex-prime minister of Serbia Kostunica

© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoyev

) - Vojislav Kostunica, March 19,  /ITAR-TASS/. Vojislav Kostunica, the head of the Democratic Party of Serbia, stepped down as the party’s leader on Wednesday after 22 years at the helm.

Kostunica’s party suffered a crushing defeat at the early parliamentary elections in Serbia on March 16, gaining only 42.4% of the vote, the worst result since the party was founded in 1992, and failing to surpass a 5 % threshold.

“For the first time in its history, the party will not be represented in Serbian parliament. I feel it my duty to resign,” Kostunica said, appointing Alexander Popovic as the party’s acting chairman.

Kostunica, a well-known opponent to Serbia’s European integration, said that the Democratic Party of Serbia had gone to the elections with a programme aimed at the country’s economic recovery and development; protection of state and national interests, the preservation of the cultural and spiritual identity of the Serbian people.

But the absolute majority of Serbians voted for a path which, Kostunica believes, was threatening to turn the country into a colony of Washington and Brussels and would put its freedom in jeopardy.

“This position of Serbia will inevitably lead to its further disintegration, economic slowdown, the growth of unemployment and submergence to ‘debt slavery’,” the Serbian politician said. Kostunica is a well-known politician in Serbia. He was the president of the Union Republic of Yugoslavia in 2000-2003 and the prime minister of Serbia in 2004-2008.

Kostunica has been the irreplaceable leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia ever since he founded it in 1992.

Kostunica will turn 70 on March 24.

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