By Bojana Barlovac
Tomislav Nikolic was sworn in as Serbia’s new president at the inaugural session of the new Serbian parliament.
The sounds of Serbian national anthem and an honour guard of the Serbian Army at the entrance to the parliament marked the swearing-in of Tomislav Nikolic as the country’s new president.
Nikolic started his five-year mandate by taking the oath of the presidential office before members of the Serbian parliament.
“I solemnly swear to devote all my efforts to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the territory of the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo and Metohija as its integral part,” he said.
He went on to pledge respect for human and minority rights and freedoms, the constitution and laws and promised to “conscientiously and responsibly fulfill all of my duties”.
Duties and competences of the President as stipulated in the constitution include representing the country at home and abroad, commanding the armed forces, signing laws, proposing a new prime minister to parliament, appointing and recalling ambassadors and granting amnesties and awards.
Nikolic took the oath in the presence of the diplomatic corps, international institutions, religious communities, top state officials, representatives of the police and armed forces, and his rivals in the presidential race.
His inauguration ceremony is set for June 11.
For the first time the session was attended by former presidents, including Boris Tadic who was defeated by Nikolic in the presidential run-off on May 20.
Earlier on Thursday, parliament was formally constituted with the verification of the mandates of all 250 parliamentarians elected in the May 6 general election.