The former President of Serbia and of the Serbian Progressive Party, Tomislav Nikolic has been working on his return to politics and attracting some of the disgruntled SNS members – unofficial sources have informed the Blic daily.
The sources also confirm that Nikolic’s people are travelling all over Serbia, talking primarily with the Progressives, but also with the dissatisfied members of other parties. They are confident that that can attract over 20 per cent of the members of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party at the moment.
“Nikolic deems it unfair that he was sidelined in the SNS, and that his son and president of the municipality of Kragujevac, Radomir Nikolic, does not have a position in the party that he deserves. The former president has therefore started gathering people and going along with the plans for establishing his own party. He is supported by the people who remained loyal to him from the very beginning”, says a Blic source close to Tomislav Nikolic.
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According to the sources, Nikolic is, for the moment, meeting with the Progressives, but also with members of the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Serbia etc.
“His people are visiting municipalities across Serbia, talking to local MPs from different parties. They say that Nikolic is the only one that can remove Vucic from power and that the opposition cannot do this by itself. That’s why he felt a need to create a new organization that would be an alternative to such opposition and that would also replace the government when the time is right”, reveals one of the sources.
Nikolic also claims that he has good relations with the president of the People’s Party, Vuk Jeremic and that he could also beat Vucic if they join forces.
“He claims that allegedly he has the support of 1/5 of the SNS members, and his associates say they can provide the required funds to run a party. He did not say how was that money going to be secure, nor who would finance his ambitious project”, says another source of the Blic.
After leaving the office of the State President, Nikolic, as the media claimed, asked to remain in the official president’s residence in Uzicka Street, to be given a new position and for his son Radomir to remain the president of the municipality of Kragujevac.
His wishes were granted, and the former president and his family still live in the abovementioned residence. Despite the relevant laws and regulations, he was appointed the head of the National Council for Co-ordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, although it is not clear what exactly he has done so far and what exactly are taxpayers paying for. Also, his son is still in the old position.
After the end of his term in the office, Nikolic had the intention to become a presidential candidate and remain in the position of the head of the state for another five years, but the public opinion polls did not support this idea. When the polls showed that only Aleksandar Vucic could beat any of the contenders in the first round, Nikolic decided to run anyway with the support of the SNS Main Committee.
However, at the session, the Main Committee decided not to discuss support for Nikolic’s re-election. Also, the relationship between him and Vucic, who were two close associates back in the day, is said to be correct, but Nikolic still cannot forgive the Party for failing to support him in his re-election as the Serbian president.
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