Leader of Democrats, his deputy deny friction

BELGRADE -- Democratic Party leader Dragan Đilas and his deputy Bojan Pajtić have issued a joint statement denying media reports that they were in conflict.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

According to the reports in question, Pajtić - who also heads the provincial government of Vojvodina, and the party's Vojvodina Council - is taking steps to remove Đilas from the helm of the DS.

The meeting that some media wrote about, during which Pajtić allegedly hinted to Đilas that he will run against him in the upcoming election for the president of the DS "never happened," the joint statement said.

It added that reports about "some kind of division between those who in favor and those against NATO" were also inaccurate.

Further, "the Democratic Party does not have a single prominent member, let alone a group, which is in favor of a cooperative attitude toward SNS leader Aleksandar Vučić."

The statement also said that there was "absolute consensus" within the party that the SNS does not have "the personnel potential or the knowledge" to change the country for the better, nor does the ruling party show a desire "to Europeanize the Serbian society," and added:

"The only thing we recognize in the Serb Progressive Party is the need to rule absolutely, and that all processes be managed by one person, which is a major threat to democracy, institutions, and the rule of law in Serbia."

The two DS leaders also said it was not true that any party official had met with former leader Boris Tadić - "because he showed his attitudes towards the Democratic Party clearly when he left it a month before elections."

"Given the amount of misinformation that appeared in the media, the only conclusion to be reached is that this is another attempt to divert public attention from the disastrous economic and social situation, for which the Serb Progressive Party is responsible," said the statement issued by Pajtić and Đilas.