"Glamorous atmosphere" as Belgrade DS choose leadership

The city board of the ruling Democrats (DS) today reelected Belgrade Mayor Dragan Đilas as its leader.

Source: B92
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The gathering, that went under the slogan "Belgrade Solutions", saw the Democrats present the results of their administration in the capital city, and announce the construction of two bridges, new schools, kindergartens and health care centers.

They also sent out a message that Belgrade can be the engine of the development for the rest of Serbia.

All this, our reporters says, went on in a "glamorous atmosphere", where the Belgrade Democrats "chose their old-new leadership in their 8th Session".

The party leader and Serbian president, Boris Tadić, seemed to object to the multi-media spectacle, electronic voting and "shiny papers" seen at the gathering, when he criticized his fellow Democrats and asked them to "lead a thriftier policy, the Belgrade way".

He also said that "savings can be made everywhere" and that "there's no need for everything to look expensive and bountiful in order to be powerful and strong", as he criticized the choice of paper used to print the conference's minutes.

Meanwhile, Đilas, running a race with no opponents, was reelected as the chief of the DS city board.

"The bridge on Ada Ciganlija is being built, the [construction of] the 'Chinese' bridge will start next year, 12 kindergartens, two new schools will be opened now, while two will be built, two new health care centers, many meters of sewers and water pipes – that's what we occupy ourselves with," said Đilas.

Tadić said he expected the Belgrade board "to win in the next elections", but he also voiced criticism over urban planning issues and some of the cases connected to that sector that have recently stirred spirits.

"When you make a wrong urban planning decision in Belgrade these days, when there is a huge structure erected in Belgrade that, instead of being monumental and showing our overall potential, character and culture of our people, testifies to something completely different – to a decline of basic values and criteria, then this is bad not only for us, the Belgrade residents, but it remains a problem impossible to solve for all future investors," Tadić was quoted as saying.

The Democrats used the occasion to remind that it is their party that holds the positions of the country's president, prime minister, mayors of three major cities, and has power in more than 120 municipalities countrywide.

Their coalition partners showed up at the gathering to demonstrate support, including G17 Plus, SPS, PUPS, SDP, and SPO.

The Liberal-Democrats (LDP) were the only no-show, reports from the conference hall concluded.

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