Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said he was mulling severing ties with the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) ahead of the presidential election, in an interview to Sputnik on Friday.
The SNS has nominated Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic as its presidential candidate. The election is tentatively scheduled for this spring. Nikolic said he had made agreements with Vucic before but was not sure how they would work out.
“I expect us to find common ground, and if we cannot, I’ll be ready to sacrifice my own interests for the sake of Serbia’s,” he said.
Asked if he was ready to stand back, Nikolic replied, “I don’t know what it means to stand back. If it means to give up on the Serbian Progressive Party and doing anything with it, then yes.”
Nikolic and Vucic co-founded the SNS nine years ago. After he was elected president, Nikolic handed over the party’s reins to Vucic, pledging to speak out for the entire country, and has since lost most of conservative support. The incumbent president did not rule out running for a second term.
The date of the Serbian presidential election has not been officially announced yet, but it could reportedly be held on April 9, 2017.