Aleksandar Vučić

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Aleksandar Vučić
Aleksandar Vučić crop.jpg
11th Prime Minister of Serbia
Incumbent
Assumed office
27 April 2014
President Tomislav Nikolić
Deputy Ivica Dačić
Preceded by Ivica Dačić
First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
27 July 2012 – 27 April 2014
Prime Minister Ivica Dačić
Preceded by Ivica Dačić
Succeeded by Ivica Dačić
Minister of Defence
In office
27 July 2012 – 2 September 2013
Prime Minister Ivica Dačić
Preceded by Dragan Šutanovac
Succeeded by Nebojša Rodić
Minister of Information
In office
24 March 1998 – 24 October 2000
Prime Minister Mirko Marjanović
Preceded by Radmila Milentijević
Succeeded by Ivica Dačić
Bogoljub Pejčić
Biserka Matić Spasojević
Personal details
Born (1970-03-05) 5 March 1970 (age 44)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Political party Radical (1993–2008)
Progressive (2008–present)
Spouse(s) Ksenija Janković (1997–2011)
Tamara Đukanović (2013–present)
Children 2
Alma mater University of Belgrade Faculty of Law
Religion Serbian Orthodox
Signature
Website Offical Website

Aleksandar Vučić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Вучић, pronounced [alěksaːndar ʋûtʃitɕ], born 5 March 1970[1]) is a Serbian politician who has been Prime Minister of Serbia since 27 April 2014. He is also the leader and president of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Vučić served as Minister of Information from 1998 to 2000 and later as Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2013, as well as First Deputy Prime Minister from 2012 to 2014. He is a graduate of the Belgrade Law School.

Early life[edit]

Vučić was born on 5 March 1970, in Belgrade, in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to Anđelko Vučić and Angelina Vučić (née Milovanov). His father was an economist. Aleksandar grew up in the Blok 45 neighbourhood of Novi Beograd together with his younger brother Anđelko.[2]

Political career[edit]

Aleksandar Vučić joined the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in 1993 and was elected to the National Assembly following the 1993 parliamentary election. Two years later, at age 24, Vučić became secretary-general of the Serbian Radical Party. He ran in the Belgrade mayoral election twice, in 2004 and again in 2008, losing both times to candidates from the Democratic Party (DS).

Minister of Information (1998–2000)[edit]

In March 1998, Vučić was appointed Minister of Information in the government of Mirko Marjanović.[3] Following rising resentment against Milošević, Vučić introduced fines for journalists who criticized the government and banned foreign TV networks.[4] He recalled in 2014 that he was wrong and had changed, stating "I was not ashamed to confess all my political mistakes".

It was during Vučić's term as the Minister of Information that Slavko Curuvija, a prominent journalist, was murdered in a state-sponsored assassination, for his apparent defiance in his reporting.[5][6] Today, Vučić is taking credit for solving the 14 year old criminal case to promote his political agenda.[7] In 1999, before the assassination would take place, Vucic gave a front page interview to a tabloid "Argument" in which he stated "I will have my revenge with Slavko Curuvija for all the lies published in The Daily Telgraph [Curuvija's paper]"[8]

Minister of Defence and First Deputy Prime Minister (2012–2014)[edit]

Vučić briefly served as Minister of Defence and First Deputy Prime Minister from July 2012 to August 2013, when he stepped down from his position of Defence Minister in a cabinet reshuffle. Although the Prime Minister, Ivica Dačić, held formal power as head-of-government, many analysts thought that Vučić had the most influence in government as head of the largest party in the governing coalition and parliament.[4]

Ratko Mladić[edit]

Before splitting away from the Radical Party of Vojislav Šešelj, Aleksandar Vučić was openly and publicly celebrating and calling for the protection of the accused war criminal Ratko Mladić. In 2007, while Ratko Mladić, a Serbian Army general accused of acts of genocide in Srebrenica and other crimes, who is currently on trial in the Hague, was still at large in Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić was distributing posters stating "A safe house for general Mladić". During a parliament session he stated that the Serbian Parliament will always protect and be a safe house for the general and that any house in Serbia that bears the last name of Vučić will protect and shelter Ratko Mladić.[9][10]

In the same year Aleksandar Vučić organized a street protest where the signs naming the street after the assassinated pro-western Serbian PM were replaced with the signs effectively renaming the street to The Ratko Mladić Boulevard.[9] This has become an annual event where the Serbian ultra-right fractions would place the same signs on top of the regular signs to celebrate the anniversary of the Zoran Đinđić assassination.[11]

Radical Party to Progressive Party[edit]

On 6 September 2008 Deputy Leader of the Radical Party and de facto leader due to absence of Vojislav Šešelj, Tomislav Nikolić resigned, because of disagreement with Šešelj over SRS support for Serbia's EU membership, and with some other well known Radical Party members formed new parliamentary club called "Napred Srbijo!" (Forward Serbia!). On 12 September 2008 Nikolić and his group were officially ejected from the Radical Party on the session of SRS leadership. Vučić, as secretary-general was called to attend this session, but he did not appear. Tomislav Nikolić announced he would form his own party and called Vučić to join. Vučić, one of the most popular figures among SRS supporters, resigned from Radical Party on 14 September 2008.[12] The next day, Vučić announced his temporary withdrawal from the politics.[13]

Aleksandar Vučić and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington D.C.

On 6 October 2008 Vučić confirmed in a TV interview that he will join new formed Nikolić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and that he will be Deputy President of the party.[14]

He then seemed to change his tune. In 2010 he made statements such as a "horrible crime was committed in Srebrenica", saying he felt "ashamed" of the Serbs who did it. "I do not hide that I have changed... I am proud of that," he told AFP in an interview in 2012. "I was wrong, I thought I was doing the best for my country, but I saw the results and we failed, We need to admit that."[15]

Nikolić stepped down as party leader on 24 May 2012 following his election as President of Serbia. Vučić assumed leadership until the next party congress is held to elect a new leader.[16] On 29 September 2012 Vučić was elected as party leader, with Jorgovanka Tabaković as his deputy.[17]

Policies[edit]

Anti-corruption and organized crime[edit]

Vučić has pledged to tackle corruption and organized crime in Serbia.[18][not in citation given] He also vowed to investigate controversial privatizations and ties between tycoons and former government members.[4][19] Vučić’s anti-corruption drive has recorded a 71 per cent personal approval rating in a March 2013 opinion poll,[18] though in more than two years it produced no convictions and only a handful of arrests.

EU membership and Kosovo[edit]

Vučić has been central to negotiations on Serbia’s bid for EU accession, traveling to Brussels for talks with the EU’s Foreign Affairs Commissioner, Baroness Ashton, as well as to Mitrovica in North Kosova to discuss the details of a political settlement between Belgrade and Pristina.[20][21] During his visit to Mitrovica, northern Kosovo, to garner support for the Brussels-brokered deal, he urged Kosovo Serbs to “leave the past and think about the future”.[19]

Relations with Croatia[edit]

In 1995, Vučić visited Knin, Croatia (then under control of the rebel Republic of Serb Krajina) with Vojislav Šešelj to protest against the Z-4 plan.[22] In 2007 Vučić made inflammatory remarks about the Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina, calling it a branch of the Croatian Democratic Union.[23] In 2008, with the establishment of the Serbian Progressive Party, Vučić said that the goal of a Greater Serbia taking Croatian territory up to the proposed Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag line was no longer realistic.[24] In December 2008 Vučić announced that he would make a visit to Croatian Serbs, causing a controversy.[25] The Croatian Serb group SKD Prosvjeta commented negatively on the visit.[26]

Personal life[edit]

On 27 July 1997 Vučić married Ksenija Janković, a journalist at Radio Index and Srpska reč. Together they have a son, Danilo (born 1998) and daughter, Milica (born 2002). They officially separated in 2011.

On 14 December 2013, Vučić married Tamara Đukanović, a diplomat at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Detalji o narodnom poslaniku: Vučić, Aleksandar" (in Serbian). National Assembly of Serbia. 
  2. ^ Lik i delo: Aleksandar Vučić;Vreme, 5 June 2008
  3. ^ "Narod koji ima najkraće pamćenje na svetu" (in Serbian). Preko ramena. 10 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Guy De Launey (20 January 2014). "Serbia transforming from pariah to EU partner". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Slavko Ćuruvija
  6. ^ https://www.cpj.org/killed/1999/slavko-curuvija.php
  7. ^ http://inserbia.info/news/2014/01/milorad-ulemek-provided-info-about-murder-of-slavko-curuvija/
  8. ^ http://facebookreportermonitor.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BB%D1%83%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%BD%D0%BE-%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%83-%D1%83%D0%B1%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B0-%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BA/
  9. ^ a b http://www.pressonline.rs/info/politika/11934/vucic-lepio-plakate-sa-natpisom-bulevar-ratka-mladica.html
  10. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ7ZwXcv7cE
  11. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHOIM8fsJ7c
  12. ^ "Nikolić: I Vučić napustio radikale" (in Serbian). Mondo. 14 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Vučić napušta politiku (za sada)" (in Serbian). Mondo. 15 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "Vučić: S Tomom protiv Tadića!" (in Serbian). Mondo. October 2008. 
  15. ^ Aleksandar Vucic: from nationalist hawk to devout Europeanist Global Post, 2014-03-13.
  16. ^ "Serbia's new president quits as party leader". B92. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Progressives elect new leader, deputy leader". B92. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Vasovic, Aleksandar (29 March 2013). "Ruling Serb Progressive Party stays popular: opinion poll". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Pekusic, Biljana (20 May 2013). "Vucic urges Kosovo Serbs to accept 'the future'". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Sengupta, Kim (4 August 2013). "Aleksandar Vucic: The man who’s bringing Belgrade in from the cold". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Aleksandar Vucic: Kosovo Serbs 'should accept deal'". BBC News. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  22. ^ Anto Đapić (HSP): Vučiću, dobro došao u Hrvatsku!
  23. ^ Šešeljevac vodi Skupštinu, a Vuk Drašković Vijeće Europe, Jutarnji List
  24. ^ Vučić sad nije za veliku Srbiju
  25. ^ A. Vučić: Mogu me i ubiti, ali doći ću u Knin
  26. ^ Srbi u Hrvatskoj različito oko Vučićevog posjeta

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Radmila Milentijević
Minister of Information
1998–2000
Succeeded by
Ivica Dačić
Bogoljub Pejčić
Biserka Matić Spasojević
Preceded by
Dragan Šutanovac
Minister of Defence
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Nebojša Rodić
Preceded by
Ivica Dačić
First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Ivica Dačić
Prime Minister of Serbia
2014–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tomislav Nikolić
Leader of the Serbian Progressive Party
2012–present
Incumbent