Belgrade Mayor Djilas Takes Over Helm of Democrats

Following months of political bickering within the Democratic Party, Dragan Djilas, has been elected the party’s new leader.Dragan Djilas was elected as the new leader of the opposition Democratic Party, DS, at an early party electoral assembly in Belgrade’s Sava Center on Sunday.

He received 2,386 votes, while his rival, Branimir Kuzmanovic, got 368 votes.

The new leader addressed the party to say that he will offer “new solution for the new era of the reformed Democratic Party”.

He announced that the DS would draft a national plan within the next two months, intended to pave the way out of the crisis, and which would become the pillar of its future activities.

Djilas explained that the plan would be based on investments in agriculture and food industry, energy and infrastructure, strengthening of the rule of law, and investments in education.

Djilas replaced Boris Tadic, former Serbian president, whom the DS assembly elected to be the party’s honorary president.

On November 4, Tadic announced after a session of the party’s main board that he would not run for office again. The reason for his withdrawal was his declining support across Serbia.

Since the May general elections, party officials have been publicly bickering and blaming each other for the party’s defeat and loss of power.

Tadic was widely blamed for the election defeat and for having concentrated too much power in his hands.

Djilas is the party’s fourth leader since its revival in 1990. The party’s first leader was Dragoljub Micunovic (president from 1990-1994), followed by Zoran Djindjic (1994-2003) and Boris Tadic (2004- 2012).

Delegates at the assembly picked seven party vice presidents – Bojan Pajtic, Natasa Vuckovic, Vesna Martinovic, Dejan Nikolic, Miodrag Rakic, Goran Ciric and Jovan Markovic.

The party previously had five vice presidential positions, and Pajtic is the only vice president to be re-elected.

The festive portion of the assembly was attended by foreign diplomats and party members.

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