Thursday, June 21, 2012

"PM position halting agreement on new government"

BELGRADE -- The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) "is closer" to forming a coalition with the Democratic Party (DS), Belgrade daily Večernje Novosti has reported.
Ivica Dačić and Boris Tadić (Tanjug, file)
Ivica Dačić and Boris Tadić (Tanjug, file)
However, the Socialists are aware that they would in that case be in the shadow of DS leader Boris Tadić’s prime minister position, according to the daily.
SPS leader Ivica Dačić will soon set a dilemma that has been bothering Serbia for days before his party - whether to renew the cooperation with the Democrats or accept the prime minister’s position in the coalition with the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).

The composition of the future cabinet will directly depend the SPS leader’s decision, Večernje novosti points out.

It is expected that United Regions of Serbia (URS) and its leader Mlađan Dinkić will be a part of Dačić’s bloc in both cases.

According to the daily, the SPS top officials should soon decide who they will form the government with.

Dačić is aware that the Socialists would in a way be in Tadić’s shadow if the SPS chose to form the future government with the DS, Večernje novosti writes.

If they chose Progressives and the position of prime minister, which has been unofficially offered to Dačić, the Socialists would take responsibility for the running of the state and they would quash the two-party system they openly shy away from.

While the SPS is trying to come up with a strategy, their talks with the Democrats, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the URS should continue.

The daily has learnt that Tadić and Dinkić met on Wednesday, even though the URS leader stepped up his public attacks on the DS. He openly accused Tadić of asking the URS to join the government without him.

He repeated that the URS did not want to join the government at all costs and that his key condition was that the new government must act differently than the previous one. Dinkić added that the parties could not be divided in pro-European and anti-European ones and that the only difference was between a successful and an unsuccessful government.

The Progressives are still waiting for a response from the SPS and their leader Aleksandar Vučić says that they would reach an agreement on the new government with their partners in just a few days.

“We have offered them a very fair agreement and a plan. We are in contact with all political factors in Serbia but the new ruling coalition cannot be formed without the SPS. We need partners but we have not heard from them yet,” he told the daily.

Vučić explained that he and Dačić had discussed goals and results of the future government but did not want to reveal whether he offered him the prime minister’s office.

“We do not have a party or personal vanity and we do not insist on taking over all important positions in Serbia. And I even expressed my wish to bring competent people who have nothing to do with our parties to some leading positions and who would make us proud,” he stressed and assessed that it was not realistic to expect that a large coalition with the DS would be formed.

Speculations that Russians would push for the forming of the government with the Progressives were fueled by Dačić’s planned visit to Moscow but after the visit was cancelled, some interpreted it as a strong influence from the West and that Dačić is coming closer to the DS.

Former Serbian Ambassador to Germany Ognjen Pribićević told the daily that the foreign influence was not crucial for the forming of the government and that it was significantly weaker than four or 12 years ago.

“There is a consensus in the country regarding the way Serbia will take so we have dropped on the list of priorities of the world centers of power. We are at the bottom of the interest of the Western countries and we are in the middle for Russia, the EU is preoccupied with solving of the financial crisis and the U.S. has other foreign political challenges,” he believes.

Pribićević says that the future government will for the most part be determined by personal relations between the party leaders, Dačić’s ambitions, harmonization of their programs and in a lower degree by the foreign influence and large capital.

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