Democratic Party nominates its leader for PM

The Democratic Party (DS) on Sunday in Belgrade nominated its leader Boris Tadić for the post of Serbia's next prime minister.

Source: B92, Tanjug

Tadić - who was a week ago defeated in his bid to be elected for a third term as the country's president - addressed reporters after a three-hour meeting of the party's presidency.

He said he was "ready to assume the office of prime minister if the goals and the manner in which the future government will operate are accepted".

Tadić also stated that he would first negotiate to form a parliamentary majority with the SPS-PUPS-JS coalition, and that he believed a deal would be reached. As for the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) - until recently led by Serbia's new president, Tomislav Nikolić - Tadić stressed that any alliance with them "is out of the question now, as it has been before".

A third partner for a future government will be discussed with the SPS-PUPS-JS leaders, he announced.

The time will come, said Tadić, to analyze election results, and analyze the responsibility, while be thinks the government should be "armed with values and goals and a plan that will be realistic and achievable".

Its focus, he continued, must be poverty and unemployment, "and continued fight against organized crime and intensified fight against corruption".

According to Tadić, the office of prime minister "that was very attractive a few weeks back", is no longer popular.

"What can I say, the political situation in Serbia is changing, it is likely a hot seat now. But never mind, such was also the office of the president of the republic in the past eight years and yet we managed to defend the country's interests."

Asked to comment on the reasons why he went back on his statement that he would "certainly not run for prime minister", given in the election night, Tadić stated that at that time, he said "what he thought and felt, and had no back-up plan, being focused on the presidential elections", but that in the meantime he "spoke to his coalition partners and citizens" - and decided to accept the candidature.

He also stressed that he "cannot trample on the values that he was loyal to all these years".

"I know there will be all kinds of comments, but I'm ready to face them, and the most important thing is not to stop fighting and to never give up."

He went on to say that he expected President Tomislav Nikolić to lay out his plan and take a part of the responsibility for the Kosovo policy, "considering that Serbia is facing a great challenge related to Kosovo and Metohija":

"Everyone should take their part of the responsibility and we (should) work in synergy, in line with a joint state plan. I believe that in this way we can fight better for the citizens' interests."

According to Tadić, Nikolić stressed during the campaign that the president should conduct technical negotiations on Kosovo.

"I fully appreciate that position. My proposal did not win a majority in the elections, and I expect the president of the republic to lay out his plan and take over his part of the responsibility for the Kosovo policy," said he.

An hour before the DS presidency meeting was concluded and Tadić addressed reporters, Belgrade daily Večernje Novosti ran an interview with him. Tadić's statements were almost identical to those heard at the news conference, including that he was ready to become prime minister if coalition partners accepted his principles, goals and a plan for the functioning of a future government.

Politics

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