Aleksandar Vučić (born 5 March 1970) is a Serbian politician who has been the President of Serbia since 31 May 2017. After leaving the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party in 2008, he became one of the founders of the populist conservative Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and he has been the party's Chairman since 2012.
Before his tenure as his country's president Vučić served as the Prime Minister of Serbia in two terms from 2014-2016 and from 2016 until 2017, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister since 2012 until 2014. Furthermore, Vučić served as a member of the Serbian parliament, Minister of Information from 1998 to 2000 under the Slobodan Milošević regime and later as Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2013.
In April 2017, Vučić was elected President of Serbia with over 55% of the vote in the first round, thus avoiding a second round. He formally assumed office on 31 May 2017, succeeding Tomislav Nikolić. His ceremonial inauguration ceremony was held on 23 June 2017. Observers have described his rule as authoritarian or autocratic, criticizing curtailed press freedom. His political positions are described as pro-European Union, conservative and populist.
Until 2008, Vučić was a disciple of the Greater Serbia ideology, which he testified was envisaged as extending to a western border running along the Virovitica–Karlovac–Karlobag line. In 1995, during the Croatian War of Independence, Vučić said in Glina (which was at the time controlled by the rebelled Serbs) that 'Serbian Krajina' and Glina would never be Croatian, Banovina would never be returned to Croatia, and that if Serbian Radical Party had won elections, Serbs would have lived in Greater Serbia. In another speech from early 2000's, Vučić called Karlobag, Ogulin, Karlovac and Virovitica "Serbian towns", stated that "they [SRS's crtics] rejoice that Ustaše (referring to Croats) have occupied Serbian lands and want to convince us Serbian radicals that it wasn't Serbian, that we were saying nonsenses. (...) We want what's ours, Serbian." After split from the Serbian Radical Party and creation of the Serbian Progressive Party, Vučić said he no longer supports the Greater Serbia ideology.
On 20 July 1995, during the Bosnian War, Vučić said in National Assembly: “for every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims” only a few days after the Srebrenica massacre, when more than 8000 Muslim Bosniaks were killed by the Army of Republika Srpska and paramilitary groups from Serbia. In 2015, he said that his statement from 1995 was "taken out of context" and "that was not the essence of that sentence."
Invited by the Bosnian government to attend the annual Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, Vučić accepted, travelling to Srebrenica on 11 July 2015 to pay his respects. He was attacked by a mob in the crowd with stones, bottles and other objects and had to flee the area. Members of the crowd shouted "Allāhu Akbar" and "Die, Chetnik".
Before splitting away from the Radical Party of Vojislav Šešelj, Aleksandar Vučić was openly and publicly celebrating and calling for the protection of Ratko Mladić, a military leader convicted of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In 2007, while Mladić was still at large in Serbia, Vučić was distributing posters stating "Safe house for general Mladić". During a parliament session he stated that the Serbian Parliament will always protect and be a safe house for the general and that any house in Serbia that bears the last name of Vučić will protect and shelter Mladić.
In the same year Vučić organized a street protest where the signs naming the street after the assassinated pro-west Serbian PM were replaced with the signs effectively renaming the street to Ratko Mladić Boulevard. This has become a frequent occurrence in which Serbian ultra-right factions vandalize same signs on top of the regular signs to celebrate the anniversary of the Zoran Đinđić assassination.
Vučić also participated in protests against the arrest of later convicted war criminals Veselin Šljivančanin and Radovan Karadžić.