Vucic takes oath of office, assumes Serbian presidency
Serbia's new president, Aleksandar Vucic, on Wednesday took the oath of office before the Serbian National Assembly in Belgrade.Source: B92
Later in the day, he will formally take over the presidential duties from Tomislav Nikolic.
Vucic took his oath in the Assembly on a special copy of the Constitution, placed on top of a copy of Miroslav's Gospel.
The text of the oath was as follows:
"I swear to invest all my powers in the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo and Metohija, its integral part, as well as in the realization of human and minority rights and freedoms, respect and defense of the Constitution and laws, preservation of peace and prosperity of all citizens of the Republic of Serbia, and that I will carry out all my duties in a conscientious and responsible manner."
Before entering the Assembly, Vucic addressed citizens gathered in front of the building. Inside, he was welcomed by outgoing President Nikolic, and Assembly President Maja Gojkovic.
The ceremony today was attended by Vucic's parents, as well as his daughter and son.
In attendance were also former presidents, members of the Serbian government, representatives of Serbia's religious communities, members of the diplomatic corps, Serbian Army Chief Ljubisa Dikovic, and Serb Republic (RS) president and prime minister Milorad Dodik and Zeljka Cvijanovic.
Serbia's Constitutional Court President Vesna Ilic-Prelic took part in the oath-taking ceremony.
Shortly before be was sworn in as president, the Assembly took note of Vucic's resignation as prime minister, submitted last night. His first deputy and foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, has taken over as acting head of government.
Vucic, who is also the leader of the ruling SNS party, on April 2 won Serbia's presidential election by a landslide, in the first round.
After addressing the Assembly, Vucic went the Presidency building, where he was welcomed by Tomislav Nikolic before the ceremony of the handover of presidential duties.
The beginning of Vucic's 5-year term in office will also be marked by protests announced by several organizations and movements.
Sasa Jankovic and his Movement of Free Citizens, along with Vuk Jeremic and Boris Tadic, have called on their supporters to gather in Belgrade's Republic Square at 18:00 hours, while the "Against Dictatorship" organization will do the same, at the same location, at 10:00.
Vucic's supporters will also gather in Belgrade today, at 18:00 hours, for a "counter-rally."
In a speech after taking the oath, Vucic said he was grateful to all the previous presidents of the Republic for their contribution to the prosperity and progress of our country.
He said that he will fight for peace in Serbia and the region, and that he will talk to everyone, offer solutions, insist on dialogue and compromise, because he deeply believes that this is the basis of all progress, successful business and a safe future.
According to him, Serbia is an independent and sovereign country, and only like that it can be the pride of all its citizens.
Vucic stated that it is necessary to get connected and build bridges and roads between states, to create jobs, increase trade exchange and learn from each other.
We can, with hard work, common sense and happiness that we win by ourselves, create a region in which the differences are an asset, not a basis for conflict, the President said, stating that will maintain the integrity of Serbia, but will always accept talks with Kosovo Albanians because that protects the Serbs and preserves and defends peace.