By Miloš Mitrović – Belgrade
Serbian ruling coalition leaders dealt the government reshuffle, although the precise changes in the Prime Minister Ivica Dačić`s cabinet would be announced later on Monday. The decision by the United Regions of Serbia leader Mlađan Dinkić to accept the division of the Ministry for economy and finances was crucial for the deal.
Since the current government had been formed in 2012, Dinkić had been the minister for economy and finances. “We accepted both the responsibilities in the Ministry of economy and finances to be shared and the coalition partners suggestion on departments of the economy and finances separation”, Mlađan Dinkić said after the meeting of his party on Sunday. He said he was ready to accept the changes in the ministries controlled by URS that would affect ministers, as well as the state secretaries and other officials. “We have decided to provide our full support to the fundamental government reshuffle”, URS declared after the meeting.
“I had made a deal with both Prime Minister Dačić and Deputy PM Vučić. I will continue to lead the Ministry of finances, and somebody from SNS (Vučić`s Serbian Progressive Party) should take the responsibility for the economy department. I am ready to support the new economy minister”, Dinkić rendered.
On Saturday, at the joint press conference by Prime Minister and his Deputy, Ivica Dačić said that “URS will remain the part of the government if its position regarding the reshuffle is to be coordinated” with those of his Socialist Party of Serbia and Vučić`s SNS. However, he added that the government “is able to preserve the majority in the Parliament without URS”. He dismissed the comments, which suggest that the URS would be ousted from the government given the fact that Dinkić did not attend the press conference. “The other coalitions leaders are also absent”.
At the same time Dačić emphasized, “the fundamental and serious reshuffle should be rather focused on approaches and the objectives in the economy and finances policies, not only on cadres”. He specified that the precise changes in the government would be acknowledged on Monday evening.
On Saturday, Vučić, whose SNS controls the most of the ruling coalitions MP`s, announced that the he would sack four SNS ministers, including himself from the minister of defense position. The agriculture minister Goran Knežević, as well as the culture minister Bratislav Petković and sports minister Alisa Marić should also be ousted.
PM Dačić said that transport minister Milutin Mrkonjić – blamed by the media for both poor performance and extramarital affair with folk singer Ana Bekuta – would leave his position. However, “Blic” daily reported that Mrkonjić would be appointed for Dačić`s adviser.