SNS: This time next year, we'll be in power

The opposition SNS party on Thursday in Belgrade marked its patron saint day with a reception and an optimistic note sounded by its leader, Tomislav Nikolić.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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Addressing reporters, Nikolić said that the Progressives would be in power next year, predicting at the same time "one of the most responsible state offices" for himself.

The party - which emerged three years ago after splitting from the Serb Radicals (SRS) - was founded "in the most difficult time", according to its leader, and instead of "sinking" - grew to be "the largest Serb family".

Nikolić said the SNS "carried great responsibility, and was not afraid of it".

Although yet to be tested in parliamentary elections, the SNS has ranked as one of the country's most popular parties in successive opinion polls.

Nikolić stated today that he expected Serbia to hold parliamentary elections "by this time next year - perhaps even presidential, if the president realizes that he no longer belongs there".

Asked whether he saw himself as the country's next president or prime minister, the SNS leader said that depended on which elections took place first.

He also commented on a recent statement made by SPS leader Ivica Dačić that the Progressives were "talking to the Democrats", to say that he last met with Serbian President and DS leader Boris Tadić in April, and that "this is the level at which he would talk".

The reception was attended by SNS officials and the party's coalition partners, including NS party leader Velimir Ilić, as well as DSS President Vojislav Koštunica. Officials of the SPS and the Pensioners Party (PUPS), who are part of the ruling coalition, were also there, as was the former commander of the MUP Gendarmerie, Goran Radisavljević Guri.

Moma Čolaković, who currently serves as MP from the PUPS list, said he showed up out of respect for Nikolić and his party, but that there were no negotiations about future coalitions yet.

However, he did not reject the possibility that such talks might take place.

"We are glad that the SNS has a program related to social justice, and if negotiations happen that will be the main topic, especially when it comes to the role of pensioners," said Čolaković.

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