By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic has entrusted today Aleksandar Vucic a mandate to form the new government. Nikolic congratulated Vucic – Serbian Progressive Party leader (SNS) – electoral victory and stressed that the two have agreed “close cooperation” in order unpopular reforms to be conducted.
On March 16 elections SNS won landslide victory securing 156 parliamentary seats out of 250. Earlier this month SNS approved ruling coalition with Alliance of Hungarians in Vojvodina (SVM); Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) led by outgoing prime minister Ivica Dacic will most likely join Vucic’s cabinet.
“I frankly congratulate Vucic on the (electoral) result that was achieved, and I have decided to inform the Assembly that I entrusted the mandate to Vucic; honestly, I would not be in his shoes because temptation is before Serbia. The victory, hilarity and celebration were ended on the electoral day; an enormous responsibility starts from today as well as work under permanent public scrutiny and many will wait and look for the mistakes of the government”, president Nikolic told journalists.
However, Nikolic said he was certain that government “will not make mistakes but rather adopt important decisions”. “We have agreed to share the responsibility, the government and president will closely cooperate. We will act as a team, especially regarding the unpopular decisions”, Nikolic explained.
“This is big day for me”, Vucic said while thanking Nikolic. “We will not lie to the people, we are entering hard reforms”, Vucic emphasized.
SNS will take its final position on government members at party Central Committee session on April 25. The government is to be formed two days later. Vucic said earlier that his cabinet would be “small, modern and effective”, with 17 ministers.
Economic recovery including comprehensive austerity measures were set among priorities of the next government; Vucic also announced struggle against corruption and organized crime as well as the continuation of negotiations on normalization of the relations with Pristina. In January, Serbia started accession talks with the European Union. Vucic said he believes the country will join EU in 2020.