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Serbia: Parliament elects new government

Government

With 127 votes in favor, Serbia’s parliament Monday elected the country’s new government.

A total of 164 MPs were present out of parliament’s 250. 27 of those who attended the session voted against; none abstained, while ten of those present chose not to vote. A majority of 126 is needed for parliament to vote in a government in Serbia. The members of the new cabinet will now take an oath that reads: “I swear to loyalty to the Republic of Serbia and bind myself with my honor to respect the Constitution and laws, to conduct my duties as the government member conscientiously, responsibly and with dedication, and to be committed to preservation of Kosovo and Metohija within the Republic of Serbia”.

The voting tonight came after a full day of debating in the wake of now Premier Mirko Cvetković’s presentation of his keynote address, when he said that his government will work towards a European future and that it will not accept Kosovo’s independence. “One of the first moves of the new government will be to submit the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union to the parliament for ratification,” the PM announced. He added that the government will strengthen economy and social responsibility and lead a decisive battle against crime and corruption, and in favor of international justice.

Cvetković, DS, called on MPs to support the key principles of the new government’s program, that should be implemented in the next four years of its mandate. One of the first lawmaking initiatives will be the energy arrangement with the Russian Federation, while the priorities of the government will include improved relations with both that country and the United States and Serbia’s continued diplomatic activity, he said.

As he spoke Monday, the prime minister designate also informed the lawmakers that the ruling coalition will be made up of the DS-led ticket, the SPS-PUPS-JS coalition and ethnic minority parties. Cvetković confirmed that his government will have 24 portfolios, one minister without portfolio, one vice premier and three deputies.

Serbia’s new ruling majority is made up of three coalitions that comprise a total of 11 parties. The largest among them, the Democrats (DS), who proposed Cvetković for office although he is not formally a party member, took part in the May 11 elections under the name, “For a European Serbia” and along with four other parties: G17 Plus, the League of Vojvodina Social Democrats (LSV), the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) and the Sandžak Democratic Party (SDP). The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) had a pre-election coalition of its own, which included the Associated Pensioners Party (PUPS) and United Serbia (JS).

Finally, the ticket dubbed “Bosniak List for a European Sandžak”, now also a part of the new ruling coalition, is made up of the Sandžak Reformists, the Bosniak Democratic Party, and the Party of Democratic Action (SDA). (B92)

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