Dissolved local DS board joins expelled MP

ŠABAC, BELGRADE -- The opposition Democratic Party (DS) on Tuesday moved to dissolve its local board in the town of Šabac, only to see its former members join Dušan Petrović.

Dušan Petrović (Tanjug, file)
Dušan Petrović (Tanjug, file)

Petrović is a former minister who was earlier this month expelled from the DS for refusing to resign as MP.

He is currently in the process of forming his own parliamentary group, "Together for Serbia", which is expected to eventually become a new party.

Out of 95 members of the DS board in Šabac, 85 voted to leave the party, nine were against, and one abstained.

Among those who left was the mayor of Šabac, Miloš Milošević.

Miodrag Filipović, who until yesterday served as chair of the DS Šabac board, told Beta news agency that he and other former local party officials will become members of a committee that will set up the new party. He added that "some other local DS branches" in Serbia were expected to join them.

Meanwhile, the coalition in power in Šabac made up of the DS, the SPO, and the LDP, is expected to survive.

19 out of the party's 25 councilors left the DS yesterday, but according to announcements intend to continue to work as part of the local coalition.

Dušan Petrović was in Šabac and commented on the outcome to say that he and his allies were convinced that they did not leave the DS - but that instead, the party "had left itself".

"That's the point at which (new DS leader Dragan) Đilas capitulated," said this former minister.

He also explained that his new party would stand for "Vojvodina, Belgrade and Serbia having identical institutions and powers - assemblies, executive governments, and budgets". According to him, "there will be no essential decentralization and no development of Serbia without this".

Earlier on Tuesday in Belgrade the Democrats announced that the Šabac board had been dissolved, and that Borislav Stefanović was appointed as caretaker for the party's activities in that town.

Stefanović told reporters that the decision to dissolve the board was made according to the party's rules, and came because "a majority of members, with the help of Dušan Petrović, were attempting to create a new political party at the expense of the DS".