Serbia’s new government is set to take office next Monday.
It will be led by Ivica Dačić, the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (Социјалистичка партија Србије / SPS), the nationalist, center-left party that finished a surprisingly strong third place in May’s parliamentary elections.
The SPS is perhaps most notorious for being the party that Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević himself founded in the 1990s. But Dačić, who has been a fixture in Serbian politics since the post-Milošević era, and has previously served as interior minister, has worked to pull his party back into the Serbian mainstream and has vowed that his government will not mark a return to the 1990s.
His government comes after a Hamlet-esque back-and-forth in choosing a coalition partner. Dačić’s ultimate choice was to form a rather unexpected coalition with the nationalist center-right Serbian Progressive Party (Српска напредна странка / SNS). In the May elections, the SNS emerged as a narrow winner — it won a plurality of seats in Serbia’s parliament and its presidential candidate Tomislav Nikolić defeated incumbent Boris Tadić. Tadić had served as president since 2004 and leads the pro-western, center-left Democratic Party (Демократска странка / DS) that has essentially governed Serbia since the fall of Milošević. Continue reading What can we expect from Serbia’s new Dačić-led government?