Serbia’s Deputy PM Hints At Autumn Election


Aleksander Vucic said that if the announced government reshuffle does not take place, elections may be the only option.

Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, on Tuesday said he would no longer take part in the government if a promised reshuffled does not take place.

The leader of the ruling Progressive Party hinted that early elections are possible in autumn if his coalition partners, the Socialists and the United Regions of Serbia, obstruct dismissals of ministers from their ranks.

Over the past few days, several ministers publicly expressed confidence that they did a good job and would not face the sack.

Earlier this month, the Progressives promised far-reaching personnel changes in the government, saying some ministers should be dismissed for poor performance.

The reshuffle is slated to take place exactly one year after ministers officially took office, on July 27.

The Progressive Party holds nine ministries, the Socialists five plus the Prime Minister’s seat and the United Regions of Serbia three, while the Social Democratic Party of Serbia holds one, as does the Party of Democratic Action of Sandzak.

Vucic conceded that early elections were not in the national interest, as the country would lose both money and time.

“But sometimes elections must be held when agreement is not possible and when things do not function well,” he added. “Therefore, I cannot guarantee that there will be no elections.”

According to the latest poll by Faktor Plus agency, two thirds of Serbs, 67 per cent, favour a government reshuffle.

The poll was conducted from July 5 to 11 on a sample of 1,040 people. It ranked Infrastructure Minister Milutin Mrkonjic, Education Minister Zarko Obradovic and Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic as those with the lowest popularity.

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