Nebojša Čović

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Nebojša Čović-Ćoki
Небојша Човић
Nebojša Čović.jpg
Čović at an SDP press conference in June 2006.
Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
25 January 2001 – 3 March 2004
Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić
Zoran Živković
Preceded by Spasoje Krunić
Succeeded by Miroljub Labus
Prime Minister of Serbia
Acting
In office
12 March 2003 – 16 March 2003
66th Mayor of Belgrade
In office
23 June 1994 – 21 February 1997
Preceded by Slobodanka Gruden
Succeeded by Zoran Đinđić
Personal details
Born (1958-07-02) 2 July 1958 (age 56)
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Political party SPS (1994–1997)
Dem. Alternative (1997–2005)
SDP (2005–2010)
Alma mater University of Belgrade
Religion Serb Orthodox

Nebojša Čović (Serbian Cyrillic: Небојша Човић; born 2 July 1958) is a Serbian politician, businessman, and sports administrator.

Čović was born in Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia, and graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. In 2000, he obtained his Ph.D at the same university.

Political career[edit]

In 1992, as a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), 34-year-old Čović started his climb up the political ladder with a position of executive board vice-president in charge of economy and finances at the Belgrade city assembly.

A year later, in 1993, he advanced to the position of the city government president. In 1994 he got elected as the Mayor of Belgrade. In parallel, Čović was the SPS deputy (MP) in the Serbian National Assembly.

Čović got sacked from the mayoral post in mid January 1997 by the Serbian president and SPS party leader Slobodan Milošević amid the months-long protests in Serbia over the November 1996 municipal elections fraud.[1] He was expelled from SPS on the same occasion as well.

He became the president of Democratic Alternative (DA) after the party got formed by certain number of SPS members seceded from SPS in July 1997.[2]

Čović served as the head of the Kosovo Coordination Centre and the head of the Southern Serbia Coordination Centre during Preševo Valley conflict (1999–2001).[3]

From 24 October 2000 to 25 January 2001 he was a member of the trio Co-Prime Ministers together with Milomir Minić from SPS and Spasoje Krunić from the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) that transitionally governed Serbia after the Bulldozer Revolution, when Mirko Marjanović was sacked.

After the assassination of Zoran Đinđić, he was the acting Prime Minister of Serbia from 12 to 16 March 2003.[4]

In 2005, he became the president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), when the Democratic Alternative merged into SDP,[5] but party ceased to exist in 2010.[6]

Sports administration career[edit]

FMP Železnik (1991-2011)[edit]

In 1991 Čović became involved with Serbian basketball club KK ILR Železnik, which was at the time a dormant sports collective for the workers of Ivo Lola Ribar metallurgical factory. The club had essentially been inactive since 1986. Čović revived it under the auspices of his private metal products factory Fabrika metalnih proizvoda AD and renamed it FMP Železnik. Under his guidance and ownership, the club grew into one of the top teams in Serbia and FR Yugoslavia, developing a reputation for fine work with the younger categories and player development.

By 1993, the club built its own basketball facility — the 2,000-seat Železnik Hall that served as its home arena form then on. Climbing rapidly up the basketball pyramid in FR Yugoslavia, FMP began the 1994-95 season in the Second Federal League, winning promotion to the country's top basketball competition for the following 1995-96 season.

In 1998, Čović brought former Yugoslav national team player Ratko Radovanović on board as the club's sporting director. Radovanović soon became synonymous with the emerging club, making player personnel decisions and running its day-to-day operations.

Čović's son Filip later played as point guard for the club.

Yugoslav Basketball Federation (1995-1997)[edit]

In 1995, while simultaneously performing the city of Belgrade mayoral job, in addition to the Serbian National Assembly MP duties, Čović became the president of the Yugoslav Basketball Federation (KSJ), succeeding Veselin "Vesko" Barović in the job. In addition to Čović's political connections through SPS, the rapid success of his club FMP Železnik that was about to start competing in the country's top league that season after multiple promotions was the best possible recommendation for the job. At the moment Čović came on board to lead the federation, FR Yugoslavia national team led by Duda Ivković were the reigning European champions, having returned to international competition following a four-year exile due to the UN embargo.

Ivković soon stepped down and his assistant Željko Obradović took over the national team head coaching job. The national team had a great run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, reaching the final against the American Dream Team composed of NBA players.

In early 1997, soon after Čović's fall from grace in SPS, he was removed from the KSJ job as well.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Slobodanka Gruden
Mayor of Belgrade
1994 – 1997
Succeeded by
Zoran Đinđić