Serbian Progressives to Propose Reshuffle

Deputy PM Vucic says the ruling Serbian Progressive Party will propose a cabinet reshuffle based on an assessment of the work of all government ministers – and some will have to go.Aleksandar Vucic, the deputy Prime Minister and leader of ruling Progressive Party, said his party will assess the work of all government ministers and propose a reshuffle by March 15.

“I will suggest to Prime Minister [Ivica] Dacic to consider a reshuffle. I’m confident that we will not be satisfied with what some members of the government have done, and that some people should be replaced,” Vucic told the public broadcaster, RTS, on March 4.

Vucic added that while the first option is the government reshuffle, the other option is early general elections.

The Progressive Party holds nine ministries, the Socialists five plus the Prime Minister’s seat, the United Regions of Serbia three, while the Social Democratic Party of Serbia holds one, as does the Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak. The government was formed in July 2012.

The issue of early elections may be raised after the EU delivers its decision on whether to offer Serbia a start date for accession talks. The decision is expected on June 28.

“If someone raises the question of the government’s legitimacy after it becomes clear whether we got the [start] date or not, we can openly say to those who think they are able to lead Serbia better that we are ready to go to the polls,” Vucic said.

Belgrade obtained EU candidate status in March 2012.

“Normalisation” of relations with Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is the EU’s main precondition for Serbia as it continues to pursue EU membership.

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