Analysis 07 Jun 17

Serbia Accused of ‘Political’ Public Sector Appointments

A sacked former minister’s appointment as head of the Serbian Security Agency has raised eyebrows, while concerns over alleged political cronyism in the public sector have resurfaced.

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Serbia
Bratislav Gasic is the new director of the Serbian Security Agency, BIA. Photo: Beta

The government’s decision to appoint Bratislav Gasic, the former defence minister who was sacked for making a sexist gaffe, as director of the Serbian Security Agency, BIA, has surprised many in Serbia.

While the BIA directorship is considered a political position, and appointments are usually decided by the cabinet, there is concern that some senior public and state-owned company positions should be reclassified as non-political and, therefore, be subject to stricter application criteria.

President and former Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic gave Gasic his full backing when confirming the appointment at a press conference.

“Is Bratislav Gasic competent for this? I am absolutely sure he is," Vucic, who is head of the senior coalition government party, the Serbian Progressive Party, SNS, said. He added that Gasic has many qualities, calling him "a man who knows everything in the world of defence and security".

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