Serbia: Parliament speaker elected after three-month hiatus
last update: July 23, 16:50
Belgrade, 23 July (AKI) – Sitting for the first time since the May general election, the new Serbian parliament Nebojsa Stefanovic as its speaker.
A new government was due to be sworn in on Friday headed by Socialist leader Ivica Dacic. Stefanovic, 35, an economist, was voted in with 142 votes in favor, 48 against and 15 abstentions.
Stefanovic, the youngest parliament speaker so far, is a member of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which won parliamentary elections, beating former pro-European president Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party (DS).
Tadic lost the presidential election to SNS leader Tomislav Nikolic and his party found itself in opposition for the first time since 2000.
Dacic’s Socialist Party of Serbia came third in May election, but he found himself in the role of powerbroker and formed a coalition with he SNS and United Regions of Serbia (URS).
His cabinet will have 17 ministries, three less that the outgoing government.
Dacic has vowed to stay on a pro-European course and to press on with Serbia's European Union entry bid. But he has vowed a tougher stance against corruption and crime as well as on Kosovo.
Serbs continue to opposed Kosovo's independence, declared by majority Albanians in 2008.
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