Aleksandar Vučić

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Aleksandar Vučić
Leon E. Panetta & Aleksandar Vučić (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of Serbia
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
Personal details
Born (1970-03-05) 5 March 1970 (age 46)
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
(now Serbia)
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
Religion Serbian Orthodox Christianity

Aleksandar Vučić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Вучић, pronounced [aleksǎːndar ʋǔt͡ʃit͡ɕ], born 5 March 1970) is a Serbian politician who has been the 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 2012-14. He is a graduate of the Belgrade Law School.

Early life[edit]

Aleksandar Vučić was born of Anđelko and Angelina (née Milovanov) in Belgrade. His paternal family hails from Čipuljići near Bugojno in central Bosnia, from whence they were expelled by the Croatian fascist Ustaše, settling near Belgrade where his father Anđelko was born.[1] Vučić's paternal grandfather Anđelko, and tens of other close relatives were killed by the Croatian Ustaše.[2] His mother was born in Bečej in Vojvodina.[1] Both of his parents were economics graduates; his father worked as an economist, his mother as a journalist.[1]

Vučić was brought up in New Belgrade,[1] and finished the Branko Radičević elementary school, and later a gymnasium in Zemun. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. He learned English in Brighton, England, and worked as a merchant in London for some time. After returning to Yugoslavia, he worked as a journalist in Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina. There, he interviewed politician Radovan Karadžić and once played chess with general Ratko Mladić.[3] As a youngster, Vučić was a fan of the Red Star football club, often attending Red Star's matches,[3] including the one played between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star on 13 May 1990, which turned into a huge riot.[4] The homes of his relatives were destroyed in the Croatian War.[2]

Political career[edit]

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 SRS. After his party won the local elections in Zemun in 1996, he became the director of Pinki Hall.[5]

Minister of Information (1998–2000)[edit]

In March 1998, Vučić was appointed Minister of Information in the government of Mirko Marjanović.[6] Following rising resentment against Milošević, Vučić introduced fines for journalists who criticized the government and banned foreign TV networks.[7] He recalled in 2014 that he was wrong and had changed, stating "I was not ashamed to confess all my political mistakes".[citation needed]

It was during Vučić's term as the Minister of Information that Slavko Ćuruvija, a prominent journalist, was murdered in a state-sponsored assassination.[8][9] In 1999, before the assassination took place, Vučić gave a front page interview to the tabloid Argument in which he stated "I will have my revenge on Slavko Ćuruvija for all the lies published in Dnevni telegraf (Ćuruvija's paper).[10] In 2014, Vučić apologized to the Ćuruvija family for having waited so long to bring the perpetrators to justice, and thanked everyone who was involved in solving the case for their work.[11]

Radical Party to Progressive Party[edit]

Tomislav Nikolić deputy leader of the Radical Party and de facto interim leader due to absence of Vojislav Šešelj, resigned on 6 September 2008 because of disagreement with Šešelj over the party's support for Serbia's EU membership. With some other well-known Radical Party he members formed a 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 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 was to join the newly formed Nikolić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and that he would be the Deputy President of the party. He then seemed to change his positions. 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."[14]

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. On 29 September 2012 Vučić was elected as party leader, with Jorgovanka Tabaković as his deputy.[citation needed]

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 Deba, 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.[7]

Prime Minister (2014–present)[edit]

After the 2014 Serbian parliamentary election Vučić's Serbian Progressive Party won 158 out of 250 seats in Parliament and formed a ruling coalition with the Socialist Party of Serbia. Vučić was elected Prime Minister of Serbia.[citation needed]

Invited by the Bosnian government to attend the annual Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, Vučić accepted, travelling to Srebrenica on 11 July 2015 to pay his respects. He was attacked by a mob in the crowd with stones, bottles and other objects and had to flee the area. Members of the crowd shouted "Allāhu Akbar" and "Die, Chetnik".[15] Social media has called him a "genocide denier".[16]

2016 Parliamentary Elections[edit]

At a party conference of his ruling Serbian Progressive Party, Vučić announced early general elections, citing that: 'He wants to ensure that the country has stable rule that its current political direction will continue – including its attempt to secure membership of the EU.'[17] On March 4, 2016, Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolić, dissolved the parliament, scheduling early elections for April 24.[18] According to opinion polls, Vučić and his ruling SNS are expected to obtain a comfortable majority. The ruling coalition around Vučić's SNS has obtained 48.25% of the vote.[19][20] Vučić's ruling SNS has retained majority in the parliament, although won less seats than in 2014 Parliamentary elections. The coalition around SNS has won 131 seats, 98 of which belong to SNS.[21]


Anti-corruption and organized crime[edit]

Vučić has pledged to tackle corruption and organized crime in Serbia.[22][not in citation given] He also vowed to investigate controversial privatizations and ties between tycoons and former government members.[7][23] Vučić’s anti-corruption drive has recorded a 71 per cent personal approval rating in a March 2013 opinion poll,[22] though in more than two years it produced no convictions and only a handful of arrests.

Vučić in 2015


After his election as Prime Minister in 2014, Vučić promoted austerity based economic policies, whose aim was to reduce Serbia's budget deficit. Vučić's policy of fiscal consolidation was primarily aimed at cuts in the public sector. One of the measures was the reduction of pensions and salaries in the public sector, as well as a ban on further employment in the public sector.[24] Vučić announced that his reform based policies have reduced country's deficit, and contributed to financial stability. However, criticism of Vučić's economic policy stated that his measures have not overall contributed to economic recovery, but have instead caused a further decline in living standard. On February 23, 2015, Vučić's government has concluded a three-year stand-by arrangement with the IMF worth €1.2 billion, as a precautionary measure to secure the country's long term fiscal stability.[25]

EU and Immigration policy[edit]

During the 2015 - 2016 European migrant crisis, Vučić strongly aligned himself with the policies of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and publicly praised German migration policy. Vučić also stated that Serbia will cooperate with the EU in solving the migrant stream going from the Middle East to EU member countries through the Balkan route, and that Serbia will be ready to take some portion of the migrants. "Serbia will receive a certain number of migrants. This makes us more European than some member states. We don't build fences," Vučić wrote on Twitter, while criticizing the migrant policies of some EU member countries.[26]

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 North Kosovska Mitrovica to discuss the details of a political settlement between Belgrade and Pristina.[27][28] During his visit to northern Kosovo, to garner support for the Brussels-brokered deal, he urged Kosovo Serbs to “leave the past and think about the future”.[23]

Relations with Croatia[edit]

In 2007 Vučić made inflammatory remarks about the Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina, calling it a branch of the Croatian Democratic Union.[29] 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 "is unrealistic and silly".[30] In December 2008 Vučić announced that he would make a visit to Croatian Serbs, causing a controversy.[citation needed] The Croatian newspaper Jutarnji list claimed in a reportage that none of his family members had been killed during World War II, upon which he replied that these were "brutal lies and attacks on his family".[2]

During 2015 and 2016, relations between Croatia and Serbia were further affected by to the ongoing migrant crisis, when Croatia decided to close its border with Serbia. In September 2015, Croatia barred all cargo traffic from Serbia,[31] due to the migrant influx coming from Serbia in a move which further eroded the fragile relations between the two countries. In response to these actions, Vučić announced that counter measures will be enacted if an agreement with Croatia is not reached.[32] The dispute was eventually resolved through the mediation of the EU Commission, yet the relations between the two neighboring countries remain fragile. On March 31, 2016, Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serbian Radical Party, was acquitted of War Crime charges in the Hague Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. The verdict has caused controversy in Croatia. Vučić distanced himself from Šešelj and his policy, but stated that the verdict should not be used as a tool for political pressure on Serbia.

On April 7, 2016 Croatia refused to endorse the EU Commission opinion to open Chapter 23, a part of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations, thus effectively blocking Serbia’ EU integration process. Serbia accused Croatia of obstructing its EU membership, and Vučić said that his government was: "Stunned by Croatia's decision not to support Serbia's European path."[33] Croatia has not agreed for Serbia to open negotiations of Chapter 23. On April 14, 2016, the EU Commission rejected Croatian arguments in its dispute with Serbia.[34] However, on July 7, 2016, Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovač announced that five conditions set by Croatia have been incorporated in the common position of the EU member states for negotiations with Serbia which will be the basis on which Serbia's progress in Chapter 23, concerning the judiciary and fundamental rights, will be assessed. These five conditions are: Serbia has to: 1. steer clear of conflicts of jurisdiction concerning war crimes, 2. cooperate with neighboring countries in search and identification of missing persons or their remains, 3. strengthen its investigative, prosecution, and judicial authorities, 4. strengthen protection of (Croatian) minority, and 5. fully cooperate with the ICTY.[35]


Vučić has maintained traditional good relations between Serbia and Russia, and his government refused to enact sanctions on Russia, following the crisis in Ukraine and the Annexation of Crimea. Vučić has repeatedly announced that Serbia will remain committed to its European integration, but also maintain historic relations with Russia. "We have proven our sincere and friendly attitude to Russia by being one of the European countries that refused to impose sanctions on Russia," Vučić said after meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "Serbia will continue pursuing this policy in the future.[36]

Vučić and Russian President Vladimir Putin on a meeting in Moscow.

During Vučić’s mandate, Serbia has continued to expand its economic ties with Russia, especially by increasing Serbian exports to Russia. In early 2016, after a meeting Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin Vučić announced the possibility of Serbia boosting its military cooperation with Russia by purchasing Russian missile systems.[37]

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 Ratko Mladić, a military leader accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In 2007, while Mladić was still at large in Serbia, Vučić was distributing posters stating "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 Mladić.[38]

In the same year Vučić organized a street protest where the signs naming the street after the assassinated pro-west Serbian PM were replaced with the signs effectively renaming the street to Ratko Mladić Boulevard.[38] This has become an annual event in which Serbian ultra-right factions place the same signs on top of the regular signs to celebrate the anniversary of the Zoran Đinđić assassination.[citation needed]

Accusations of media manipulation and censorship[edit]

In July 2014, journalists associations were concerned about the freedom of the media in Serbia, in which Vučić came under criticism.[39][40] The German newspaper Die Tageszeitung reported that the media in Serbia are censored and Vučić is responsible for that. Serbian journalist Jovana Gligorijević also expressed her concerns and said that „the freedom of speech was indeed threatened because internet pages were blocked, blogs removed and bloggers arrested" for which Gligorijević indirectly blamed Vučić.[39][40]

The situation was exacerbated when the commissioner for media freedom of the OSCE, Dunja Mijatović, wrote Vučić and made attention with the suppression of the media. Vučić said that the international community, foreign ambassadors and the OSCE would lead a campaign against him, because Serbia does not want to impose sanctions against Russia because of Ukraine crisis, and that the suppression of the media are nonsense. He also claimed that he had never heard of these portals, which were blocked and demanded an apology from the OSCE. Paula Tide, the Vice President of the OSCE in Serbia, rejected the apology. The head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade, Ambassador Michael Davenport, and the US Ambassador Michael Kirby shared Tide's opinion.[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

On 27 July 1997 Vučić married Ksenija Janković, a journalist at Radio Index and Srpska reč. The couple has two children. The marriage ended with divorce in 2011. On 14 December 2013, Vučić married Tamara Đukanović, a diplomat at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[41]


  1. ^ a b c d Poreklo.
  2. ^ a b c "Aleksandar Vučić: Hrvati se rugaju mojim ubijenim precima!". Novosti. 
  3. ^ a b Isailović 6 September 2010.
  4. ^ 13 May 2015.
  5. ^ Aleksandar Vučić
  6. ^ "Narod koji ima najkraće pamćenje na svetu" (in Serbian). Preko ramena. 10 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Guy De Launey (20 January 2014). "Serbia transforming from pariah to EU partner". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Slavko Ćuruvija
  9. ^
  10. ^ Ексклузивно На Монитору: „Убица“ Славка Ћурувије Је „Проговорио“… ,; accessed 9 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Milorad Ulemek provided info about murder of Slavko Ćuruvija",; accessed 9 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Nikolić: I Vučić napustio radikale" (in Serbian). Mondo. 14 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Vučić napušta politiku (za sada)" (in Serbian). Mondo. 15 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. 
  14. ^ Aleksandar Vucic: from nationalist hawk to devout Europeanist,, 13 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Vucic attacked, hit with stones in Srebrenica (video)". B92. 11 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Serbia’s president condemns ‘savage’ attack on PM at Srebrenica". The Guardian. 11 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Serbia PM Announces Early General Elections
  18. ^ ODLUČENO Nikolić raspisao vanredne izbore za 24. april
  19. ^ 4. мај 2016. Конфернција за новинаре
  20. ^ RIK objavio konačne rezultate izbora, u Skupštini predstavnici 12 lista
  21. ^ Serbian Parliament - Seats
  22. ^ a b Vasovic, Aleksandar (29 March 2013). "Ruling Serb Progressive Party stays popular: opinion poll". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Pekusic, Biljana (20 May 2013). "Vucic urges Kosovo Serbs to accept 'the future'". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  24. ^ PM: Salaries, pensions, subsidies to be cut
  25. ^ IMF Executive Board Approves €1.2 billion Stand-By Arrangement for Serbia
  26. ^ Serbia Will Take in Some Migrants, Vucic Says
  27. ^ Sengupta, Kim (4 August 2013). "Aleksandar Vucic: The man who’s bringing Belgrade in from the cold". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "Aleksandar Vucic: Kosovo Serbs 'should accept deal'". BBC News. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  29. ^ Šešeljevac vodi Skupštinu, a Vuk Drašković Vijeće Europe, Jutarnji List
  30. ^ Vučić sad nije za veliku Srbiju
  31. ^ Road traffic halted between Serbia and Croatia in migrants row
  32. ^ Serbia to wait for deal with Croatia until Sept. 24
  33. ^ Serbia accuses Croatia of obstructing its EU membership talks
  34. ^ European Commission Rejects Croatia’s Arguments in Its Dispute with Serbia
  35. ^
  36. ^ Serbia's Vucic, Rejecting EU Sanctions On Russia, Visits With Putin
  37. ^ Serbia plans to buy air defense systems, MiG-29 fighters from Russia
  38. ^ a b Press Online :: Politika :: Vučić lepio plakate sa natpisom Bulevar Ratka Mladića
  39. ^ a b c Die Tageszeitung:Die Pampigkeit des Herrn Vučić - In Serbien werden Internetseiten attackiert, Blogs gesperrt und Blogger festgenommen. Die Betroffenen berichteten wohl zu kritisch über die Regierung (German) - The stroppiness of Mr. Vučić - In Serbia being attacked websites, blocked blogs and arrested bloggers. The victims reported probably too critical about the government
  40. ^ a b c Die Tageszeitung:"Serbische Regierung zensiert Medien - Ein Virus namens Zensur",; accessed 9 December 2015.(German)
  41. ^ Bojović, B. (12 August 2014). "Šta je Dačić savetovao Vučićevoj supruzi". Blic. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 


Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]

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