SPS candidate elected parliament speaker

BELGRADE -- Serbia's parliament this evening in Belgrade elected Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) official Slavica Đukić-Dejanović as its new speaker.

Slavica Đukić-Dejanović (FoNet)
Slavica Đukić-Dejanović (FoNet)

128 MPs voted in favor, 97 were against, while none of the lawmakers present abstained.

A total of 225 out of 250 MPs took part in the voting.

Đukić-Dejanović, who was the only candidate for the position, was supported by the five parties led by the Democrats (DS), the SPS-PUPS-JS coalition, and the parties representing ethnic minorities.

The Serb Radical Party (SRS), the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), New Serbia (NS) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers were against her appointment.

The voting tonight took place after a debate that started at 10:00 CET.

The reasons for Đukić-Dejanović's candidacy were outlined by SPS leader Ivica Dačić.

Her deputies are also due to be elected, with four coming from the ranks of the Serb Radical Party (SRS), the Democratic Party of Serbia-New Serbia (DSS-NS) coalition and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and two from the DS-led list and the coalition grouped around the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS).

The SRS’s candidates for deputy speaker are Nataša Jovanović and Božidar Delić, while LDP leader Čedomir Jovanović has said that his party will be proposing Judita Popović.

The DSS-NS said their candidate will be Radojko Obradović, who held the same post in the last parliament.

Acting Speaker Jovan Krkobabić called several recesses today, first at midday to summon party whips for consultations because, instead of moving to the debate on the election of a speaker, DSS and SRS MPs had continued to discuss breaches of the Parliamentary Code of Procedure.

They insisted that the acting speaker should say why the session had been scheduled to coincide with the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, thus preventing a Serbian delegation from representing the interests of the Kosovo Serbs.

Krkobabić informed parliament that five MP clubs had been formed. The only party without an MP club thus far is the DS coalition, "For a European Serbia", with its 102 representatives.

The five clubs are those of the minority parties, the Serb Radical Party, the Democratic Party of Serbia-New Serbia coalition, the coalition grouped around the Socialists, and the Liberal Democratic Party.

Yesterday’s constitutive session where a speaker was due to be elected was suspended at 18:00 CET.