B92: Nikolic “most likely” won’t run for reelection

PHOTO: TANJUG / RADE PRELIC

President Tomislav Nikolic will most likely not run for reelection, B92 has learned unofficially from circles close to the former SNS party leader.

B92 was told that this decision should be confirmed during the day, after Nikolic and current SNS leader and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic meet.

However, the decision is not final, while Vucic’s cabinet is yet to confirm that a meeting has been scheduled.

Earlier in the day, B92 was told by sources close to Nikolic that his meeting with Vucic was expected during Monday, and that there had been contacts between the two during the previous days, which went in a “reconciliatory tone.”

Nikolic told Kurir on Saturday that he still expected to make an agreement with Vucic, while the prime minister stated during the day that he would talk with Nikolic “whenever, and about whatever topic” – but that he would does agree to “the public imposing a reality show.”

“Politics is not about trading,” said Vucic, and added, “I am not a tradesman and I won’t take part in a media reality show.”

Sources from his cabinet have denied for B92 and other media outlets and agencies that Vucic and Nikolic spoke on the phone ahead of the meeting of the main board of the SNS on Friday, which confirmed Vucic’s presidential nomination.

President Tomislav Nikolic has told the tabloid Kurir that he is “not giving up on (making) an agreement with Aleksandar Vucic.”

He stressed that he “does not want to comment” on the attacks against him that have been “ongoing for days.”

“I’m not interested in all those who have been dragging me through the mud they themselves created these days, and they don’t deserve me addressing them in any way. Most daily newspapers have been lying against me for days. Nothing can influence me and make me choose to give up on an agreement with Aleksandar Vucic and the SNS,” Nikolic said.

According to him, the upcoming presidential campaign will be “a good example to see who will give whom space.”

The president said that he was “not attacking anyone, not spreading lies, not making life miserable for anyone’s family or friends, not endangering anyone’s freedom,” and expected the media to “simply also publish his opinion.”

“These days,” he continued, “the media are either sufficiently unbiased, or serving somebody. I never asked for it, nor do I have media outlets who are publishing only what seems to them to benefit me.”

Nikolic also stressed that he was “under obligation to protect his friends and family.”
His statement came after unconfirmed media reports last week that he plans to run for reelection even without the support of the party he and Vucic founded, the SNS.

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