Sinisa Mali, the mayor of Belgrade, said he will not rerun in 2018 elections. “I think I will turn to my private business, but I would be ready to help Belgrade and projects in the city, to assist government and new president of Serbia in case of need”, Mali said in the interview for Alo daily.
Mali, whose term expires next year, said he was proud of everything he did in Belgrade stressing that the city remains “in a good path”; in his words, “the wheel of investments” has been accelerated and it could not be stopped by anybody.
The actual mayor has declared his intention not to rerun in a highly symbolical moment – exactly on the anniversary of the controversial demolishing that occurred in the center of Belgrade in 2016.
Namely, on April 24 last year, in the middle of the night, at the place where construction of luxurious compound Belgrade Waterfront was planned, masked persons destroyed several buildings using bulldozers. At the same time, the residents and passengers had been maltreated and even illegally detained. The incident provoked protests and reactions of different rule of law supporting organizations.
At the time, prime minister Aleksandar Vucic, who has been elected for president earlier this month, suggested that city authorities were responsible. However, nobody was sacked or prosecuted.
Mali’s term was also marked with other scandals – over his alleged ownership over 24 apartments in Bulgaria, his allegedly plagiarized doctorate and public divorce from his wife.
In the interview, Mali said that Belgrade Waterfront, financed by a United Arab Emirates company, represents “a symbol of better Belgrade” and testimony of the former city authorities’ “incapability”.
Mali said he felt “bitterness” because his family “had to go through the mud of lies”. “I have not stolen one single dinar from anyone, I don’t owe anything to anyone”, he said.