Interior minister talks about resignation, feeling powerless
The interior minister said on Monday he told the president he was ready to offer his resignation after the incidents during local elections in Lucani.Source: Beta
At Monday's press conference, Nebojsa Stefanovic said he was prepared to do so because he felt "a part of the responsibility and the inability" to protect his colleagues at the police station in Guca.
"When I saw this humiliation of the police, and I am aware that you cannot always react strictly according to the procedures, then I told this to the president of Serbia, at least as an act in support of my colleagues. When you see them barging in and when I see who feel powerless because they want to be normal, then I have no right to be silent," the minister said.
He added that in connection with the possible resignation he wanted to consult with the president of Serbia and the leader of the SNS, Aleksandar Vucic, as a man who, as he said, enjoys the greatest trust of citizens.
Stating that the police always have a choice in the legal framework to react strongly or not, the minister said that he was lucky that the police in Lucani chose to react "very mildly."
"Today various demonstrators walk and block the streets for five hours and there is no problem, and not long ago there were water cannons, tear gas and bullets. I don't know if in the last five years you know what a water cannon looks like, not to mention tear," Stefanovic said.
Belgrade's tabloids previously reported that they had "learned" that Stefanovic had offered the resignation to PM Ana Brnabic and to Vucic, "because he was told not to arrest the supporters of Djilas and Obradovic (opposition politicians)."
Vucic reacted to this by saying, "Nebojsa has had a difficult day".
"It was not exactly in such a form... Nebojsa will (speak) about it tomorrow. He's had a difficult day, a lot of criminal reports... None of those violent actions involved the SNS, except for the citizens who possibly vote for the SNS, and who were attacked," Vucic said.
"Nebojsa was upset when he called me and said that nobody has the right to humiliate the police. I told him that until the violence starts, let them make threats, shout, do what they want. It was rather difficult for him. I didn't want to talk about it because he will leave his position in our party and in the state when I do," Vucic said.