Serbia Socialists edge to the right

Possible government in sight as left agree principles with nationalist coalition.

Dacic made sure the Radicals and the DSS agreed to add social justice to their governing principles [AP]
Dacic made sure the Radicals and the DSS agreed to add social justice to their governing principles [AP]
The outcome of a definitive agreement would see Serbia’s government made up of the SRS, DSS and New Serbia (NS) coalition, and the coalition of the Socialists (SPS), which also includes the Associated Pensioners Party (PUPS) and United Serbia.
Dorde Milicevic, the SPS spokesman, said the five principles were defence of state and national interests, social justice, European integration, economic development, and the fight against corruption and crime.

Milicevic also said the SPS believe the new ruling coalition agreement “must be signed” before the new parliament convenes for its first session.

National uncertainty

Tadic, who needs SPS support to govern, said
he wanted the language of hate out of politics

An online poll conducted by Serbia’s B92 news network showed that people were still not sure which coalition the SPS would decide to join.

Forty-five per cent said they would join a DS-led coalition, and 46 per cent said they would join the DSS-NS and Radicals.


The Socialists have so far kept quiet on their potential alliance with a DS-led coalition, but talks are scheduled to take place once an understanding with the DSS-NS and Radicals is achieved.

The announcement of five agreed principles with the nationalist coalition has no doubt sent a message to the pro-European parties led by Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic, of the DSS, that they wish to have their voice heard.

Cameron Munter, the US ambassador in Belgrade, said on Thursday that a Socialist-Radical-DSS-NS coalition would be “surprising” because that it “wouldn’t be in line with the people’s will at the elections”.

“At the elections, the Serbian citizens clearly chose Europe and their country’s European future.

“We expect and hope that a Europe-oriented government capable of meeting the needs of its citizens will be formed, in keeping with that clearly expressed will,”  he said.

Kosovo focus

The Socialists have said Kosovo is a priority

Branko Rusic, vice president of the Socialists, told Al Jazeera that they will talk to Tadic, because he won the election, but stressed that his party needed guarantees that no one will give up Kosovo for a uncertain European future.
“We need to have a government that keeps the national interests of Serbia,” he said.
“I mean a Kosovo inside Serbia according to resolution 1244 [which repects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of serbia].
“The citizens of Serbia proved that they needed much more social justice, and they did that by voting for us,” he said.

‘Same ideology’

On Wednesday, Tadic said he was to open talks with the SPS “because they shared the same ideology as the Democrats”.

“We advocate a society that, economically, develops evenly and increases its capacities to defend Kosovo.

“I think a further dimension to this cooperation exists that is by no means insignificant. The conditions would be created for, on the one hand, the standard of living to be enhanced, and on the other, to begin a process of historical reconciliation.

“Neither the Democratic Party, nor the SPS wants anyone to label citizens as “traitors” or “enemies”.

“We wish to rid political life of the language of hate, and to get down to serious work, to solve the problems of the country and its citizens,” he said.

Parallel government

Cedomir Jovanovic, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), allied to the DSS, said his party would do everything to help the DSS reach an agreement with the Socialists.

“If Serbia gets an anti-European government, we’ll be obliged to form a parallel European government to put constant pressure on the government through its parliamentary officials,” he said on Serbia’s Pink television.

“[This] will sooner or later lead to new elections, in which support will be given to the clear, European policies that we need.

However, Velimir Ilic, leader of NS, said he was confident that the next government would be formed with the SPS and SRS, even if no agreement has yet been reached.

“That coalition is in sight. I think everything is acceptable to everyone, and the good will is there to reach an agreement,” he said.

Source : Al Jazeera

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