Progressives Bid For Power in Serbia’s Second City

The city branch of the Progressive Party in Novi Sad is filing a motion seeking the dismissal of the Democrat mayor, Igor Pavlicic.Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party will file a request on Tuesday to convene the city assembly in Novi Sad to discuss the dismissal of mayor Igor Pavlicic, a member of the Democrat Party.

Novi Sad’s mayor is appointed by the city assembly. Pavlicic was elected mayor at a session on June 30.The request for Pavlicic’s dismissal followed the Progressive Party’s Main Board meeting on August 26, when party leaders resolved to seize power in several local governments.

The Progressives plan to take power in those municipalities where Democrats have formed coalitions with Socialists. Beside Novi Sad, they will try to take power in Leskovac and Zajecar.

Although the Socialists and Progressives have now formed the national government in Serbia, Socialists are still in coalition with Democrats in numerous municipalities, which the Progressives are now trying to break.

However, Aleksandar Vucic, the Progressive Party’s acting president, told the party’s Main Board that the Progressives will not attempt to take over power in Belgrade, where the Democrats won 50 out of 110 seats in the last election.

The Socialists haven’t officially declared whether they will break their existing coalition agreements with the Democrats at local level.

The Democrats in Novi Sad lost their majority in the city assembly on August 25, when three deputies from the Serbian Renewal Movement quit the majority led by the Democratic Party.

The Progressives’ request for Pavlicic’s dismissal currently has the support of 35 of the 78 deputies in the assembly.

The ruling coalition currently has 38 seats, 15 from the Democratic Party, 12 from the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina, seven from the Socialists and one from the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.

If the Socialists leave the coalition with the Democrats and join the Progressives, they will have a majority of 42 seats.

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