Aleksandar Vučić, born 5 March 1970) is a Serbian politician who has been the President of Serbia since 31 May 2017. He is also the president of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Aleksandar Vučić was born in Belgrade, to Anđelko and Angelina Vučić (née Milovanov). His paternal ancestors hailed from Čipuljić, near Bugojno, in central Bosnia. They were expelled by the Croatian fascist Ustaše during World War II and settled near Belgrade, where his father was born.
Vučić joined the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in 1993, far right party whose core ideology is based on Serbian nationalism and the goal of creating a Greater Serbia, and was elected to the National Assembly following the 1993 parliamentary election. Two years later, at age 24, Vučić became secretary-general of the SRS. After his party won the local elections in Zemun in 1996, he became the director of Pinki Hall, which was his first employment.
In March 1998, Vučić was appointed Minister of Information in the government of Mirko Marjanović. Following rising resentment against Milošević, Vučić introduced fines for journalists who criticized the government and banned foreign TV networks. He recalled in 2014 that he was wrong and had changed, stating "I was not ashamed to confess all my political mistakes". During this period, Serbian media was accused for broadcasting Serbian nationalist propaganda, which demonized ethnic minorities and legitimized Serb atrocities against them.
On 6 October 2008 Vučić confirmed in a TV interview that he was to join the newly formed Nikolić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and that he would be the Deputy President of the party. He then seemed to change his positions. In 2010 he made statements such as a "horrible crime was committed in Srebrenica", saying he felt "ashamed" of the Serbs who did it. "I do not hide that I have changed... I am proud of that," he told AFP in an interview in 2012. "I was wrong, I thought I was doing the best for my country, but I saw the results and we failed, We need to admit that."
The election result sparked protests around Serbia. Thousands of protesters accused Vučić of leading the country towards authoritarianism. Protesters organized the rallies through social networks and insist they are not linked to any party or politician, and demand a total overhaul of what they call "corrupt political, business and media systems that serve an elite led by Mr Vučić". Vučić maintained that the protests were organized by his political opponents who expected “the dictator would bring the police into the streets.”
Vučić was sworn in as President of Serbia on 31 May, in front of Parliament. He promised to continue with reforms and said Serbia will remain on European path. He also said Serbia will maintain military neutrality, but continue to build partnership with both NATO and Russia.
During the 2015 - 2016 European migrant crisis, Vučić strongly aligned himself with the policies of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and publicly praised German migration policy. Vučić also stated that Serbia will cooperate with the EU in solving the migrant stream going from the Middle East to EU member countries through the Balkan route, and that Serbia will be ready to take some portion of the migrants. "Serbia will receive a certain number of migrants. This makes us more European than some member states. We don't build fences," Vučić wrote on Twitter, while criticizing the migrant policies of some EU member countries.
In July 2014, journalists associations were concerned about the freedom of the media in Serbia, in which Vučić came under criticism. The German newspaper Die Tageszeitung reported that the media in Serbia are censored and Vučić is responsible for that. Serbian journalist Jovana Gligorijević also expressed her concerns and said that, the freedom of speech was indeed threatened because internet pages were blocked, blogs removed and bloggers arrested" for which Gligorijević indirectly blamed Vučić.
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