President to say by Jan. 7 whether he'll seek another term

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Monday he would by Christmas (Jan. 7) inform the public whether he intends to seek another term in office.

Source: B92, Tanjug
Nikolic is seen during Monday's press conference (Tanjug)
Nikolic is seen during Monday's press conference (Tanjug)

Serbia is due to hold regular presidential elections next spring.

At his annual press conference in Belgrade, Nikolic said that during his current 5-year-mandate he "changed the image of Serbia" and that believes that, as head of state, he "made no mistakes toward Serbia."

The president also noted that he and his associates were during this time "often exposed to negative attitudes of the media."

"I see no reason not to run, I know of no other man who would do this job better, or cooperate better with the government led by Vucic - otherwise we risk going into chaos. In this Serbia, it is never any good when arrows fly from Andricev Venac (Presidency) toward the government. So I think there can't be any major changes before the expiration of the mandate of this government," he said, adding:

"I am not immodest, but Serbia needs a president like this. I am not modest, either. If I were a little more modest, I would turn toward my needs, my family."

Nikolic also said that in five years of his term the image of Serbia in the world has been "turned around," that the country is now "back among the states which everyone recognizse, appreciates and respects," and pointed out that the presence of a large number of foreign dignitaries can be expected for the next president's inauguration - unlike when he was taking office.

"On the domestic scene, I was trying to make sure Serbia is once again Serbia for citizens of Serbia," said the president, noting that his tenure has been marked by "a large number of jubilees."

He pointed out that Serbia "deserves to be mentioned and asserted, and must not be marginalized, humiliated and insulted."

Nikolic mentioned that during the marking of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War "the blame was not attributed to one Serb," as well as the failure of a draft UN resolution on Srebrenica, and of Pristina's attempt to join UNESCO.

"I really want to be a candidate again," he said, noting that the decision depends on whether agreement on this can be reached with SNS leader and PM Aleksandar Vucic.


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