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news 06 Feb 13

Two New Political Parties Join Serbian Stage

Two new political parties have appeared on the Serbian scene, hoping to attract disappointed members and supporters of the Democrats and the Liberals.

BIRN
Belgrade

Serbia's political scene has got two new players of a Democratic orientation, the New Party and the Liberal Movement of Serbia.

Members of the New Party are rushing across Serbia to collect signatures. They need 10,000 to register as a political party.

The party is led by Zoran Zivkovic, former member of the Democratic Party and a former Prime Minister of Serbia. The 52-year-old served as premier from 2003 to 2004.

"The New Party will be the first one to bring money to the country instead of taking it from it, like the others do," Zivkovic said.  

The party advocates pro-Western values, including EU integration, political pragmatism and the revitalization of the economy and rule of law.

Zivkovic admits that his party's programme does not differ much from those of the Liberals or the Democrats but says the difference lies in the people.

"The people in the New Party have not been compromised over the last ten years," Zivkovic said.

The founders of the party also include well known university professors, including Vesna Pesic, Vesna Rakic Vodinelic, Vladimir Pavicevic, and Dusan Pavlovic.

The Liberal Movement of Serbia has similar goals. It advocates building democratic institutions and the affirmation of a new value system.

The founders are Nikola Samardzic, a former senior official of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Vladimir Beba Popovic, chief of the Intelligence Office in the government of late Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic.

The new parties came up a year and a half after the Democrats lost to the Progressives in the May elections, while the Liberals did not cross the threshold needed to enter parliament for the first time.

Soon after, both parties started facing serious internal crises.

Following months of political bickering within the Democratic Party, Dragan Djilas, the mayor of Belgrade, has been elected the party's new leader.

The Liberals lost Nenad Prokic, one of the founders and its representative in parliament. He left the party after the elections, citing the authoritarian personality of the party's head, Cedomir Jovanovic.

The May elections also saw almost 5 per cent of the voters cast white ballots.

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