ALTHOUGH the Serbian Progressive Party won 39.1 percent of the votes in the elections in Belgrade, which brings them 48 out of a total of 110 seats, that is not enough to independently represent the majority in the capital’s parliament. The formation of coalitions in the Assembly of the capital will probably go in an “arrangement” with the republican one.
If the traditional cooperation between the Progressives and the Socialists in the Old Palace is realized, it will be a narrow majority with 56 mandates. However, it is not excluded that the Progressives will form a broader coalition in order to have stable support in the council benches.
Although the presidential candidate of the NADA coalition, Milos Jovanovic, said on Tuesday that he would not cooperate with the Progressives at the city level, while he could at the national level, it is not impossible that seven mandates of this list “strengthen” the SNS-SPS partnership in Belgrade. Such a majority of SNS, SPS and NADA would have 63 councilors.
If the coalition of SNS, SPS and NADA were supported by the Defenders with four mandates, that would be a stable combination, 67 hands for voting in the parliament of the capital. Only with Zavetnici, SNS and SPS would have 60 councilors, although the president of that party, Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski, points out that she does not want an agreement with the Progressives.
It is certain that the five opposition parties that entered the Belgrade City Assembly cannot form the majority of the SNS, even if they harmonize their positions and decide to run under “one hat”. If “United for the Victory of Belgrade” with 26 mandates were merged, “Moramo” with 13, NADA with seven, “Dveri – POKS” with four and Zavetnici with also four – that is a total of 54 mandates, compared to 48 SNS councilors. If the united opposition was joined by the SPS with eight other councilors, that would be 62 mandates and the only possible supremacy over the SNS.
If the progressives in the composition of the future Belgrade parliament did not see the SPS next to them, but the lists Zavetnici and Nada, such a coalition would occupy 59 councilor benches.
It is not yet known which of these combinations is the most realistic and who will enter the Old Palace with which of the opposition. Representatives of these parties say it is too early to talk about possible combinations and are waiting for a repeat of the vote in some Belgrade polling stations. They agree that, no matter how ideologically different they may be, everyone should sit down together at a table, discuss and agree on further ideas for Belgrade.
The leader of Dveri, Boško Obradović, is ready to cooperate with all opposition parties that want to change the current government in Belgrade, and proposes the formation of a transitional government in the capital for two years.
– That is the best solution after the ruling majority lost more than half of the support of the citizens of Belgrade – Obradović explains for “Novosti”. – The opposition, no matter how politically diverse, should make a clear agreement on the transitional city government in the next two years, until the general elections in Serbia in the spring of 2024, and start resolving what are the key issues in Belgrade, which are traffic and urban chaos, air pollution and corruption at the top of Vesić’s government. These are issues that are beyond our ideological differences in the opposition, and we can and must agree on that for the benefit of our capital and its inhabitants.
Obradovic does not believe that anyone from the opposition would reject such a proposal and states that this new coalition, if it proves successful, could take four years. The holder of the Belgrade list “United for the Victory of Belgrade”, Vladeta Janković, told us on Tuesday that it is still early to talk about potential coalitions.
– We are waiting for the final results, it is ungrateful and too early to predict that. The opposition will meet in the coming days, we will talk and after the agreement we will see in which direction the cooperation will go – Janković points out for our paper.
Candidate for mayor of the coalition “We must – For a good city” Dobrica Veselinovic says that talks with representatives of the Belgrade opposition are underway, and that they will talk to “everyone who is not and will not cooperate with the SNS and SPS”.
– We are open for cooperation with Dveri, Zavetnici and NADA, but we have clear program, value and ideological lines that we will not follow. Therefore, it is necessary to see if we can find a common denominator at this moment, in order to change the regime. What is important to us is that there are no agreements or talks with the regime – Veselinović specifies.
Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski from Zavetnik has a similar attitude, saying that she will gladly talk to her colleagues from the opposition, but that she will not give up the program for Belgrade. She also reiterated that the Defenders are not interested in a coalition with the SNS, which has been speculated about in previous days.
– As for the cooperation with the SNS, I was very precise before the elections and now, we are not interested in cooperation with the Progressives – concludes Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski.
ĐILAS: INSIGHT INTO JACKETS WITH LEAFLETS
It is almost certain that the voting will be repeated at certain polling stations in Belgrade – said the president of the Party of Freedom and Justice, Dragan Djilas. – 70,000 more people voted for the opposition in Belgrade than for the SNS and SPS, and I call on the citizens to vote in the by-elections and help the “Let’s go people” list enter the city parliament, which would open the way for us to form a government in the capital.
After the meeting of representatives of the opposition coalitions “United for the Victory of Belgrade”, “We must”, NADA, Zavetnici, “Dveri – POKS”, which was also attended by Boris Tadic, whose list “Let’s go people” did not pass the census, Djilas pointed out that the opposition has minutes from all polling stations, according to which 916,960 voters voted in the elections in Belgrade. According to Djilas, slightly more than 412,000 of them supported the SNS and SPS, while more than 485,000 citizens voted for other parties that have not been part of the previous city government so far.
Djilas also explained that according to the current law, the objections are not written in the minutes themselves, but on a special paper, and the opposition has had insight into those documents only since last night.
– We will see at which polling stations we will submit objections – said Djilas and announced that the opposition will submit a request for insight into the bags with polling materials.
In case there is no repetition of votes, says Djilas, the ratio of mandates in the city parliament between the SNS and the SPS on the one hand and other lists on the other is 55 to 55.
ŠAPIĆ WITHOUT COMMENTS ON THE CANDIDATURE FOR MAYOR
The capital’s list of the Serbian Progressive Party, whose leader was Aleksandar Šapić, won fewer votes in the last elections in New Belgrade than in 2018, when the SNS was alone. Out of 143 polling stations, the SNS now received fewer votes in 75 polling stations with Shapic than four years ago.
According to unofficial results, the opposition coalitions “United for the Victory of Belgrade” and “We Must – For a Good City” collectively won 40.1 percent and 49,560 votes, respectively, while the SNS and SPS together recorded 38 percent or 47,030 votes. In the municipality of New Belgrade, headed by Aleksandar Šapić, 60.3 percent, or 123,534 citizens, voted.
Data from the last capital elections in 2018 show that the SNS in New Belgrade then, without Šapić, won a total of 40,403 votes, while with him that number grew to 40,515 votes. When asked where he was during the election night and whether his candidacy for mayor was ruined, Šapić told us briefly on Tuesday:
– I was there in the SNS during the election night, it was very crowded, I didn’t want to push myself. I would not comment on anything further – said Šapić.
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