Defence Minister Vucevic elected new head of Serbia’s ruling SNS

Defence Minister Vucevic elected new head of Serbia’s ruling SNS
The SNS' new leader, Defence Minister Milos Vucevic, is congratulated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. / SNS
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 27, 2023

Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Milos Vucevic was elected the new president of the ruling conservative Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) on May 27, following the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic as party leader, the party announced.

Vucic announced in April that he will step down as head of the SNS, Serbia’s biggest party that dominates the political scene, on May 27, but will remain a member. He also stressed that he has no plans to stand down from the Serbian presidency. 

His resignation from the SNS leadership marks the end of an era for the party, which he has led for over a decade. 

It comes amid tensions within Serbia, where a series of mass protests have taken place since two mass shootings in early May shocked the nations, as well as unrest in majority-Serb parts of northern Kosovo. 

Vucevic's election was proposed by Vucic himself. “It is a great privilege, honour and responsibility. Thank you to President Aleksandar Vucic and all the delegates for their trust. We will continue to fight for a better, more decent, and more advanced Serbia.” Vucevic said in a Facebook post.

Following the SNS's extraordinary assembly, Vucevic emphasised that the party's policies would remain consistent and that they would continue to be the driving force behind Serbia's advancement.

He expressed his appreciation for Vucic's “exceptional leadership” over the past 11 years.

The SNS supports Vucic's proposal for the party to participate in the formation of a new national movement dubbed the People's Movement, he added. Details of this initiative are expected to be revealed by the end of June.

"You will be able to see much more concretely in this matter at the end of June," Vucevic added. 

On June 24, the SNS will establish its party bodies and subsequently join the new movement led by Vucic.

Regarding the ongoing dialogue with Pristina, Vucevic confirmed that the Serbian authorities would soon review the request made by the Serb List to cease the dialogue. The situation in Kosovo was described as "dramatic and challenging” by Vucevic.

Vucevic, a Serbian lawyer and politician, has held the positions of deputy prime minister and minister of defence since 2022. Prior to his current roles, Vucevic served as the mayor of Novi Sad from 2012 to 2022.

Vucevic's political journey began as a member of the far-right Serbian Radical Party (SRS). After the SRS split in 2008, Vucevic aligned himself with the breakaway SNS, led by Vucic and Tomislav Nikolic. He has established himself as Vucic's trusted associate.

In April, Vucic announced that he will establish a new movement called the People's Movement for Serbia, which he hopes will be broader than the SNS and will also include people who are not members of the party.

According to him, the new movement will be most probably established around Vidovdan, the national and religious holiday in Serbia that is celebrated on June 28 each year. This day commemorates Prince Lazar and the Serbian holy martyrs who lost their lives during the Battle of Kosovo against the Ottoman Empire in 1389.