Vucic, Serbia's "friend of Putin," announces his resignation: resigns as head of the ruling party
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, known for his loyalty to Russia and "neutrality" on the war in Ukraine, announced his resignation as head of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic was elected as the new head of the SNS.
"This is my last day as leader of the SNS. Tomorrow someone else will take over, but I will remain a member of the party," Vucic said.
He told the congress that he will remain head of state and remain a member of the party.
"I will never leave this party, I am proud to have led the best party all these years," he told the cheering delegates.
Vucic became SNS president in 2012, replacing Tomislav Nikolic, who had held the post since 2008, when the party was formed as an offshoot of the ultra-nationalist Serb Radical Party.
He first served as deputy prime minister and prime minister before being elected president in 2017 and 2022. His second and final term expires in 2027. Together with its allies, the SNS holds a majority of 164 seats in the 250-member parliament.
According to France24, Vucic has already announced plans to form a national movement, which is expected to include prominent intellectuals, artists and other public figures, and gradually merge with the SNS.
According to analysts, Vucic is significantly more popular than his party, which is regularly accused of corruption, and a new coalition would help rebrand the party, potentially avoiding bad election results in the future.
"This is a way to overcome the crisis potentially brewing within the Serbian Progressive Party. By creating a new movement, he wants to secure another mandate in office," said Bojan Klakar, head of the independent election watchdog CESID.
Recall that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called Crimea and Donbass Ukrainian. Shortly before that, Vucic said that Serbia would never help Russia circumvent sanctions.
Vucic also commented on the decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused of kidnapping Ukrainian children. The Serbian president, known for his pro-Russian policies, called the ICC warrant "a step toward the greatest conflict in the history of mankind.