Serbia has officially obtained a new president and the highest legislative body – the Parliament has been constituted. The new government is to be formed soon. According to economic experts, the forthcoming work will not be easy at all. More from Mirjana Nikolić.
Judging by the atmosphere in the National Assembly House on the day of the constitution of the new parliament, one can conclude that the level od democracy in Serbia has grown in the past few years. The ceremony of oath-taking by the new president, Tomislav Nikolić, was attended by the former Serbian presidents, ambassadors to Serbia and numerous officials from the political and public life. The ceremonial atmosphere may have been due to the fact that there is practically no opposition in Serbia as all the parliamentary parties are participating in a level of power.
In his first presidential speech, Nikolić announced good cooperation with everyone, expressing hope that Serbia will obtain a prime minister designate by June 4, as it is clear to all that there is no time for waiting. The Democrats were criticized for choosing an economic expert, but inconspicuous politician Mirko Cvetković as the previous prime minister. Now they will try with a strong politician, former Serbian president Boris Tadić. The idea has been approved by a good part of the political elite, but has met with suspicion of some of the public experts. In his capacity of Serbian president, Tadic was criticized for interfering in state affairs not within his competence and for preferring to do many things on his own, rather than leaving the task to another. It is not expected therefore that the leader of the Democrats will have an easy time forming a cabinet as he will have to tackle the demands of his coalition partners, who will probably not be as obedient as his fellow-Democrats.
It is not known yet who will form the government and analysts claim that the ruling parties, should they act as required, will probably become opposition at the next elections as meanwhile they will have to perform various very unpopular tasks. The minus in the state budget is higher than expected and therefore economists propose VAT increase, freezing salaries and pensions and the reduction of the number of public administration employees. This is not going to be acclaimed by citizens as the same ones who were in power when the minus in the budget was formed will try to lead us out of the crisis by raising prices and montly duties.
It is therefore far less important whether Tadić will be the PM, whether SPS leader Ivica Dačić will retain the office of interior minister or whether LDP leader Čedomir Jovanović might be appointed deputy PM in charge of EU integrations. What is much more important is the programme they are to gather around, the way the government and the president are to approach their tasks and the way they will explain to citizens that we must experience worse times in order to experience better ones. We must remember how much money was spent on the election campaign, in which all the candidates kept telling us that they would start economizing the moment they come to power. The citizens are waiting impatiently for the formation and first moves of the new government as democracy in Serbia is maturing, not only through decent relations among political rivals, but also through the awareness of citizens that one does not need to wait as many as four years to change the government.