Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nikolic: I will not hinder forming of government

BELGRADE – Serbian president-elect Tomislav Nikolic said Tuesday he will not hinder the forming of the government and urged the parties to speed things up as the country is faced with a very difficult economic situation.

Addressing the press after his talks with Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert, Nikolic said that if the parties which were already in talks to form the government fail to reach agreement by Monday, he will start talks with parties according to the number of seats they hold in the parliament - the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the Democratic Party (DS), and the coalition of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Party of United Pensioners of Serbia and United Serbia (SPS-PUPS-JS).

During our talks, I informed Degert that I want to cooperate with the parliament on the setting up of the government, and that I also want to cooperate with the government itself once it has been formed, Nikolic said.

Asked what his cooperation with Boris Tadic would look like if the DS leader became prime minister, Nikolic said that Tadic would have the right to think about his own party, whereas he, as the president of Serbia, has to ignore things such as who the prime minister is or which party he cames from.

"I will simply have to cooperate with him," Nikolic said.

He also said that as a president, he would not stand opposed to the Democratic Party.

"That may be hard to achieve, but I have set my mind on that. You have seen for yourself that Tadic began to think that way too. This was not possible before, and this is why I say that a new era has begun in Serbia," Nikolic underlined.

But you have to ask Tadic, if he becomes PM, whether he sees our future cooperation in the same way as I, he added.

Commenting on the relations with neighbouring countries, Nikolic said that some had tried to harm his relations with Croatia, which he said is not possible.

"I cannot answer for what I said 15-20 years ago. If this is how things were done, no one would be able to engage in politics. I can answer (only) for what I have done since I was elected as president of the Republic," Nikolic said.

He added that he would invite Croatian President Ivo Josipovic to attend his inauguration in Belgrade, noting that he "would never do anything to harm the relations between the two countries and their peoples."

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