Rasim Ljajic, Serbia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication said late on Monday that regardless whether there would be parliamentary elections or the cabinet reshuffle, he would not be a minister any more, the Beta news agency reported.
Ljajic, the longest-serving minister in the Government of Serbia, told the Belgrade Blic daily it was his final decision.
He said he had to “draw a line somewhere,” and wanted to preserve his honesty.
Ljajic told the daily he was tired of “operational, daily politics,” and that "the public is tired with me since I have been in politics for so long."
He became a member of Serbia’s Government in 2000 and then held different ministerial posts for the next 18 years.
Ljajic has said he has not yet informed Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic about his decision.
“Of course, an additional reason is this campaign (Muarem, a Serbian politician of Bosnian descent, activist, and former President and Chief Mufti of the Islamic Community in Serbia) Zukorlic and (Vojislav, an ultra-nationalist leader and convicted war criminal) Seselj are conducting against me, which is something unrecorded in the parliament,” Ljajic said.
Seselj accused Ljajic of being the head of one of the most influential drug cartels in Serbia.
Serbia’s Interior Ministry (MUP) denied having any indications about any Ljajic's criminal activity.
Ljajic said a lie became a legitimate tool in the political arena and added that “politics is not a competition of ideas any more, it has become a flee market where you can be paid to attack political opponents and bear no consequences.”
However, he added, he would commit himself to “further strengthening of the party (the Social Democratic Party of Serbia) and the marginalisation of Zukorlic and Seselj,” where they, according to Ljajic, always belonged.
He said that in case of early elections, his party would be on the list of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, led by Vucic as it had been before.