SPS leader: We're ready to continue cooperation with Vucic

Source: N1

While Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic keeps his current and possibly new coalition partners uncertain about the future coalition, Ivica Dacic, the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the outgoing Foreign Minister, said on Thursday that SPS was ready to continue cooperation with Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), but that the decision depended on the President and his SNS.

SNS overwhelmingly won the June 21 general elections and with 188 out of 250 parliament seats did not need anyone to form a government.

However, Vucic, who is entitled to suggest a candidate for the prime minister, keeps his plan secret and his potential allies nervous.

SPS and the Patriotic ‘Spas’ Movement were the only parties that joined SNS and minority political organisations in the new parliament, after crossing the three percent threshold lowered due to the election boycott by major opposition parties.

Analysts believe Vucic deliberately hesitates to name a candidate for the prime minister „to discipline his party’s ranks,“ and show to the SPS it could not unconditionally count to continue the eight-year-long coalition.

The media also speculate about significant changes in the ministerial posts.

The outgoing Prime Minister Ana Brnabic of the SNS has recently said she knows she is one of two candidates Vucic considers for the post. She has refused to say who the other was, but added Vucic is contemplating the coalition with ‘Spas.’

Reacting to that, Zorana Mihajlovic, Brnabic’s deputy, said that there was no discussion about any candidate or coalition during the party’s official meetings.

On Thursday, Dacic told the Belgrade Prva TV that „the decision, as Vucic said, will be made in the next two weeks,“ adding he was proud with the cooperation with Vucic and his SNS so far.

Asked about speculations about SPS getting fewer ministries, Dacic said that such guesswork was usual after every election.

„Vucic and I have never talked about the numbers (of ministries) but about the goals and policies and we have always reached a solution,“ he said, adding „let Vucic and I solve that.“

He also said there had been not a single day in the last eight years that „we don’t see or hear each other. We haven’t managed that this morning.“

Some SPS leaders are seen to have off-the-record objections to particular SNS’ decisions. At the same time, some of the SNS top officials openly speak it’s the time to break up the coalition with the Socialists, mainly because they say the party officials don’t show enough public support of the SNS.