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Following his expulsion by the Democratic Party, the UN General Assembly President says he won’t join another party until his UN mandate expires.
Jeremic, recently expelled from the opposition Democratic Party, said he would not re-engage on the Serbian political scene until he quits as president of UN General Assembly.
“This is an extraordinary chance for our country and it will last only six more months. I want to completely dedicate myself to that, so the country can gain the biggest possible benefits,” he told the daily newspaper Blic on March 19.
Jeremic spoke out after Bratislav Gasic, deputy president of the ruling Progressive Party, urged Jeremic to join his party instead - while noting that the Progressives had not discussed the issue and the call was just a personal appeal.
Gasic said he appreciated Jeremic's achievements at the General Assembly, adding that he would be useful in many posts as the Progressives work on creating a team of high-level achievers. “I believe Jeremic should join such team,” Gasic said.
The Democratic Party expelled Jeremic on February 14, after the new leadership called on all former ministers from the party’s ranks to return their mandates. Most met the request but Jeremic refused, stating that by law the mandate belonged to the MP, not the party.
Dusan Petrovic, who was agriculture minister in the previous government, and also did not want to return his mandate, was also expelled, on January 31. On March 18, Petrovic announced that he intended to form a new party with six other former Democrats by the end of a month.
The “cleaning” of the party came after the Mayor of Belgrade, Dragan Djilas, was elected party leader last November.
The party has been in a state of considerable turmoil since last May's general elections, when it lost power to the Progressive Party.
Boris Tadic, the former leader, who was also Serbian President, was widely blamed for the defeat. At the same time, the media started leaking information on corruption among former Democrat ministers.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.