Serbian bookmakers have revealed their first forecast regarding Serbia’s likely next Prime Minister, with the head of the Socialist Party, Ivica Dacic, who has been a PM before, having the best odds.
Serbian bookmakers rate Ivica Dacic, leader of the junior partner in the ruling coalition, as the most likely man to replace the current Prime Minister and soon-to-be President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, who won the presidential elections on April 2.
Dacic is the bookies’ favourite by a wide advantage compared to the second-ranking Minister of Finance, Dusan Vujovic.
The head of the Socialist Party has indicated his interest in the Prime Minister’s position, while suggesting he may not get the post.
“If he [Vucic] thinks that’s the best solution, then we’ll talk about it seriously,” Dacic told the Blic daily on April 30, adding, however, that if one does not want someone to get a post, they usually recommend them for it. “And because of that, I will not be the Prime Minister,” he added, sarcastically.
Bojan Klacar, from the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy, CESID, said it would be a surprise for Dacic to become Prime Minister unless he was Vucic’s “transitional solution”.
Klacar added that in this case Serbia might well have early parliamentary elections next year as well. “A shift of political power to the Socialists does not suit Vucic in the long term,” Klacar told BIRN.
Vucic’s Progressive Party and Dacic’s Socialists have been in coalition since the 2012 elections, and this would be Dacic’s second mandate as Prime Minister, having previously held this post from 2012 to 2014.
The Prime Minister is elected by parliament by a majority of votes.
Bookmakers from Meridian Bet on Monday put the odds on Dacic as a favourite at 1,8, which means that for every 10 euros placed as a bet on his election, the investor will get back only 18 euros.
The odds on Finance Minister Vujovic are higher at 3,50.
Right behind Vujovic is the Minister for Local Government Ana Brnabic, who is known for her pro-EU stances but also for being the first LGBT senior official in Serbia.
Blic on May 12 said this was why the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church was lobbying against her becoming Prime Minister, citing a source close to the top of the government.
But bookmakers still put her chances of being the next Prime Minister slightly ahead of those of the Progressive Party official and former Minister of Justice, Nikola Selakovic.
Selakovic on Sunday that he was honoured to work with Vucic, while adding that his vote would go to the Progressive Party vice-president and Mayor of Novi Sad, Milos Vucevic.
But Vucevic’s chances are not so good, according to Monday’s bookmakers’ predictions who put his odds at 20:1.
The least likely candidates for the Prime Minister’s post, according to the bookies, is the outgoing President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic. Minister for Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic is ranked with middling chances.
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