ISSN 2330-717X

Serbian Progressives Woo Socialists Into Coalition

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The largest party in Serbian parliament is trying to tempt Socialists into coalition, also saying that any government formed without the Progressives would lack legitimacy.

As talks begin on forming a new government in Serbia, the leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, Aleksandar Vucic, told Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that his party was ready cooperate with the Socialists and “individual opposition parties that we already cooperate with”.

Vucic said their offer to the Socialists would include a government of 12 ministries, a faster and more efficient administration, and savings of around 600 million euro a year through a new law on public procurement.

Asked whether the Progressives were prepared to offer the Prime Minister’s post to the Socialists, Vucic said that such decisions were not yet on the agenda, reiterating that Jorgovanka Tabakovic remained the Progressives’ candidate.

Vucic said no new government could be legitimate without the Progressives, as they had polled more votes in the general election than any other party and their candidate for the post of state President, Nikolic, had won the presidential poll.

“Our position is that any government without us is illegitimate, because in the presidential runoff people showed they want changes and a different Serbia,” Vucic said.

Nikolic beat the Democratic Party candidate, Boris Tadic, Serbia’s former head of state, in the second round of the presidential election on May 20.

In the general elections held on May 6, the Progressives won 73 out of 250 seats in the parliament. The Democrats came second with 67 and the Socialists third with 44.

Meanwhile, the Socialists, the Democrats and the Liberals have also been holding unofficial talks on a new government.

Their government would consist of 15 ministries, of which the Democrats would have seven, the Socialists five and the Liberals three.

The Democrats, the Socialists and the Liberals were all in the previous coalition government.

Nikolic, meanwhile, said a government should be formed as soon as possible as the economic and social situation in the country was very difficult.

Nikolic is to continue his consultations on forming a new government with representatives of parties on June 6, meeting a delegation gathered by the Democrats.

The deadline for a government to be elected is September 5.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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