Progressives, Socialists announce names of new ministers

BELGRADE -- The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) held a Main Board session at 11:00 CET on Sunday and announced the names of candidates for future ministers.

Ivica Dačić and Aleksandar Vučić (Tanjug, file)
Ivica Dačić and Aleksandar Vučić (Tanjug, file)

SNS acting leader Aleksandar Vučić will be a defense minister and first deputy prime minister.

The Progressives announced after the session that a candidate for foreign minister was a career diplomat, former Ambassador to Japan and Foreign Ministry State Secretary Ivan Mrakić.

Nikola Selaković is a candidate for justice and state administration minister, Goran Knežević for agriculture, forestry and water management minister and Zorana Mihajlović for energy, development and environmental protection minister.

Borislav Petković is a candidate for culture, information and diaspora minister, Milan Bačević for natural resources, mining and spatial planning, while chess player Alisa Marić will probably run the Youth and Sport Ministry.

The SNS Main Board meeting was partially open to media and reporters were be able to be present during Vučić’s introductory speech.

Vučić said on Saturday that it was realistic to expect that Serbia would get a new government on Friday and that it would have 18 members and 16 or 17 ministries.

The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) also held their Main Board session on Sunday at the SPS headquarters.

SPS leader and PM-Designate Ivica Dačić announced that he would also perform the function of the interior minister and that other SPS officials to enter the new government would be Žarko Obradović, Milutin Mrkonjić, Slavica Đukić-Dejanović and Jovan Krkobabić.

“Obradović should be given the seat of the education, science and technological development minister, Mrkonjić should become the new transport minister Đukić-Dejanović should be in charge of the Health Ministry while Krkobabić should assume the office of the labor and social policy minister,” Dačić said at the meeting which started at 13:00 CET.

According to him, the prime minister will be from the ranks of the SPS for the first time after 12 years. He stressed that it was not a political victory, but a real-life test to see if the SPS staff knew how to do the work.

Dačić said earlier that he expected that the law on government and ministries would be adopted by the end of next week and that the new government would be formed soon after.

He explained that parliament officials would be elected on July 23 and that MPs would then discuss the laws on government and ministries.