By Bojana Barlovac
As talks on forming a new government continue between Democrats and Socialists, the choice of prime minister has narrowed down to two candidates of the Democratic Party.
Top officials of the Democratic Party would like Boris Tadic to be the new prime minister, Balkan Insight has learned from a party official.
If Tadic declines, top party officials would propose Dragan Djilas for the position.
The Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS, the coalition partner of the Democrats in the new government, would like Democrats’ Boris Tadic to be the next prime minister, state-owned news agency Tanjug has learned from the Democratic Party.
Both Tadic and Djilas have previously said they are not interested in the post of prime minister.
Dragan Sutanovac, the outgoing defence minister, whose name was also mentioned for the position, “is no longer option for the premier’s post,” the source added.
This was discussed at a four-hour long meeting of the DS presidency on Monday night that was reportedly protracted because of a division in the party over how to proceed.
“No major changes have occurred… Tadic remains at the helm of the party for now,” the source said.
Since becoming president in 2004, Tadic has also been head of the party.
The Presidency of the Democratic Party, DS, has announced that negotiations with the Socialist Party of Serbia on the composition of a new government will continue.
On May 8, the two parties agreed to remain coalition partners following the May 6 general elections in which the Democrats secured 63 seats, the Progressives 73 and the Socialists 44.
The decision to continue talks comes after Democratic Party leaders held a four-hour long meeting behind closed doors on Monday evening to discuss party-leader Boris Tadic’s loss in the second round of the presidential elections.
In a surprising outcome, nationalist Tomislav Nikolic of the Progressives won the May 20 presidential runoff, with 49.51 percent of the vote compared to Tadic’s 47.35 percent, based on 99.07 percent of polling stations where vote counting is complete.
Under the Serbian Constitution, President-Elect Tomislav Nikolic is empowered to invite the party with the largest representation in parliament to try to form a government. This is his own party, the Progressives. The Progressives’ candidate for prime minister is Jorgovanka Tabakovic.
However, the Progressives would need the support of the DS and the Socialist Party in order to form a government, which is unlikely to happen. In that event Nikolic will invite the next largest party, the Democrats, to try to form a government.