On 3 April, Serbian citizens went to vote in extraordinary parliamentary and presidential elections, but six months later, they still haven’t got a government.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, announced on 27 August that the current “technical” prime minister, Ana Brnabić, would be in charge of putting together a new government cabinet, but no other details are known. Why does Serbia still not have a government if it is clear who won the majority?
The final election results published three months after the vote showed that the SNS-led electoral list won 120 out of 250 parliamentary seats and, together with the national minority parties and the Social Party of Serbia (SPS), with 31 seats, has a majority in parliament.
On 1 August, the National Assembly held a constituent session which also started the 90-day deadline for government formation began. Future Prime Minister Ana Brnabić recently told RTS that circumstances had slowed down the formation of the government and announced that it would be formed in October.
The public assumes that there is still no government because of foreign political pressure on Serbia to take a clearer course in the current situation, or because of the distribution of power within the ruling party or coalition. “Regardless of the reasons, delaying the formation of the government indicates a crisis and a lack of responsibility,” thinks Raša Nedeljkov, programme director of the organisation CRTA.
“This is one of the indicators of a constitutional crisis, in which the political elites create an atmosphere where uncertainty and insecurity become a priority in our institutional action. Despite all circumstances and the certainty of who is going to be in the new government, they are using all possible legal frameworks so that there is no political accountability in the institutions, and the only continuity exists practically in the institution of the President, who subordinates all other branches of government to his authority,” says Nedeljkov.
A similar situation happened after the parliamentary elections in June 2020, when the formation of the government was also delayed. At that time, however, the situation was even clearer because the opposition had boycotted the elections and the SNS party won an absolute majority.
According to the Government Law, a technical government can only perform basic tasks. It cannot propose laws to the parliament, nor can it adopt regulations, unless their adoption is tied to a legal deadline or dictated by the needs of the state, defence interests or natural, economic and technical disasters. In the event that the government is not formed by the beginning of November, the law prescribes the dissolution of the parliament and the President is obliged to call parliamentary elections, which must be held within 60 days of the dissolution.
This post is also available in: Italiano