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Largest party in Serbian parliament tries to tempt Socialists into coalition, also saying that any government formed without the Progressives would lack legitimacy.
As talks begin on forming a new government in Serbia, the leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, Aleksandar Vucic, told Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that his party was ready cooperate with the Socialists and "individual opposition parties that we already cooperate with".
Vucic said their offer to the Socialists would include a government of 12 ministries, a faster and more efficient administration, and savings of around 600 million euro a year through a new law on public procurement.
Asked whether the Progressives were prepared to offer the Prime Minister's post to the Socialists, Vucic said that such decisions were not yet on the agenda, reiterating that Jorgovanka Tabakovic remained the Progressives' candidate.
Vucic said no new government could be legitimate without the Progressives, as they had polled more votes in the general election than any other party and their candidate for the post of state President, Nikolic, had won the presidential poll.
"Our position is that any government without us is illegitimate, because in the presidential runoff people showed they want changes and a different Serbia," Vucic said.
Nikolic beat the Democratic Party candidate, Boris Tadic, Serbia's former head of state, in the second round of the presidential election on May 20.
In the general elections held on May 6, the Progressives won 73 out of 250 seats in the parliament. The Democrats came second with 67 and the Socialists third with 44.
Meanwhile, the Socialists, the Democrats and the Liberals have also been holding unofficial talks on a new government.
Their government would consist of 15 ministries, of which the Democrats would have seven, the Socialists five and the Liberals three.
The Democrats, the Socialists and the Liberals were all in the previous coalition government.
Nikolic, meanwhile, said a government should be formed as soon as possible as the economic and social situation in the country was very difficult.
Nikolic is to continue his consultations on forming a new government with representatives of parties on June 6, meeting a delegation gathered by the Democrats.
The deadline for a government to be elected is September 5.
This spring almost 7 million Serbians are entitled to vote in presidential, general, provincial and local elections.
Since the renewal of multi-party politics in 1990 power has oscillated between a variety of parties in Serbia and votes have often followed by allegations of frauds and protests.
Twelve years after the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, the scene has changed significantly as parties rise, fall and change their minds. See Balkan Insight's profiles of Serbia's ruling and opposition parties.
Since the first multi-party elections were held in 1990, Serbia has often had acting heads of state, while many of those elected ended their terms before their mandates expired.
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