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Serbia: Progressives Likely To Form Next Government

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By Bojana Barlovac

New government in Belgrade will probably comprise Progressives, Socialists and United Regions of Serbia, Balkan Insight has learned from two independent sources.

Serbia’s new government is likely to be led by the Progressives, the Socialists and United Regions of Serbia, Balkan Insight has learned from two independent sources in both the Progressives and the Democrats – leaders of the last government.

According to the source in the Progressives, Ivica Dacic would become Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, of the Progressives, would be deputy PM in charge of EU integration and Jorgovanka Tabakovic of the Progressives would be Finance Minister.

Mladjan Dinkic of the United Regions would get economy, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, of the Socialists, would get health, Velja Ilic – agriculture and spatial planning; Milutin Mrkonjic of the Socialists – infrastructure, Zarko Obradovic of the Socialists – education; Suzana Grubjesic of the United Regions – foreign policy; Vladimir Cvijan of the Progressives – justice; and Borislav Pelevic of the Progressives – defence.

Dragan Djilas, Deputy President of the Democratic Party, and the mayor of Belgrade, said in a statement that talks between his party and the Socialists had clearly failed.

“No matter how the negotiations end [on the new government], it is important for the future of this country to be honest to both the voters and coalition partners, past and future ones, and clearly and loudly tell the truth,” Djilas said.

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

This potential lineup comes as talks between the Socialists and Democrats on forming a government have “hit a snag”, according to Rasim Ljajic of the Democrat-allied Social Democratic Party of Serbia.

Immediately after the May 6 elections, the Democrats and the Socialists made a deal to continue to work together in a new government.

The situation has, however, changed since the Democrats’ leader, Boris Tadic, lost to Nikolic of the Progressives in the presidential run-off.

Since then, Dacic has been juggling various coalition options and offers.

The problem with the Democrat-led government has emerged over the third partner that the other two need in order to obtain a parliamentary majority.

The Socialists opposed having the Liberals as the third partner, owing to the stance of the latter on Kosovo and on the Bosnian Serb entity, the Republika Srpska.

Dacic said he would not cave in to pressure to agree to a government with the Liberals alone, but insisted on a fourth party, the United Regions of Serbia, joining in as well.

But the Democrats disliked the idea of the United Regions of Serbia becoming a partner, following their experience of working with them in the outgoing government.

Mladjan Dinkic, of the United Regions of Serbia, shook up the government last year when he said on TV that key decisions were not being taken within the government building – implying that they were being taken by President Tadic instead. He was sacked soon afterwards.

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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