BELGRADE – Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has become single candidate from the Serbian Progressive Party for the presidential election due in April, Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojsa Stefanovic has told reporters.
“Vucic, unanimously,” the minister told reporters after a party session. Vucic himself has declined to answer the questions, saying he will make a statement later.
Earlier in the day, Tomislav Nikolic said he will not seek a second term as president of Serbia.
The president said that as the Serbian Progressive Party is not nominating him for election, he doesn’t want to participate as self-nominated candidate.
Nikolic dismissed speculations he would put himself forward as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, adding that all details of his agreement with PM Aleksandar Vucic would become “known in day or two.”
“Maybe you will hear that from Aleksandar Vucic in the evening, maybe tomorrow, but not now,” Nikolic told reporters in Belgrade.
“One thing is clear, I won’t run in the presidential election,” the president told reporters.
Nikolic suggested that it would be easier to win for Vucic, but said he himself also had a chance to win. A public opinion poll by Gallup Media suggests that in case Nikolic was nominated for president with the support of the Serbian Progressive Party, he would secure support of 50.2% of the voters already in the first round, while without the party support this figure would decline to 37.2%.
The presidential election will be held in Serbia in spring, the exact date not clear as of yet. The leader of the Serbian Radical Party, Voislav Seselj, and former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic have already said they would run. However, experts say Vucic is the favorite and is expected to win already in the first round if he decides to seek presidency. Under the Serbian Constitution, the president is elected for five years and cannot be elected for more than two terms.