Sinisa Mali, Serbia’s Finance minister, told reporters on Friday he put enormous effort in his education and that it was difficult for him to accept the Professional Ethics Commission of the Belgrade University ruling that his doctorate was plagiarism, N1 reported.
He told reporters who doorstepped him outside the Parliament that he saw the decision as political.
In the meantime, Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said the ruling would not affect Mali's position as a cabinet minister.
He said that the Commission's decision was "deeply political."
"I'm interested in what is important for people," he told the Prva TV, adding "the academic honesty is important, but I haven't read Mali's doctorate and cannot comment on it as does this uneducated elite."
Earlier, Mali told the state news agency Tanjug: “I guess I’ll prepare a special statement for people in Serbia, but after the Parliament passes the 2020 budget. How do I feel? Well, it’s difficult. It’s tough because I worked hard all my life; I know how much effort I put to be the best pupil, the best student. I put a lot of effort into my post-graduate studies, first master, second master, doctorate. And that’s why it’s hard for me to accept the decisions by the political commission.” Mali told the state Tanjug news agency.
He referred to the Belgrade University Professional Ethics Commission which said on Thursday Mali’s behaviour was “not academic” since it was established that he copy-pasted at least a third of his thesis without mentioning the sources.
The ruling tantamounts to annulling the thesis and not promote him into a PhD.
He told reporters on Friday that he would work to show to Serbia’s people his knowledge. “In the end, people are the best judge, not the political commission… Its members knew it, that’s their politics, and let them be, what’s up to me is to continue to fight.”