The potential kingmaker in forming the next Serbian government said Wednesday he is thinking of ditching his alliance with the country’s main pro-European Union party and turning to pro-Russian nationalists instead. The Socialist leader, Ivica Dacic, said the nationalists are offering him to become the prime minister in the next government, while in a Cabinet led by the pro-EU Democrats he and his party officials would only be ministers, like they were in the outgoing government. “Why would we be in someone’s government if we could lead it?” said Dacic, who heads the leftist party formed by late Serbian autocrat Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s.
Neither the Democrats nor the nationalist Progressive Party won enough votes in Serbia’s parliamentary election in May to rule alone, and they are trying to lure Dacic’s Socialists to form a coalition government that the EU hopes would continue with the social and economic reforms that would lead to membership in the bloc. But the formation of a so-called “red-black” coalition of the Socialists and the nationalists would mark the return of Milosevic’s allies to power in Serbia for the first time since his ouster in a popular uprising in 2000. Six years later, Milosevic died during his war crimes trial at a U.N. tribunal.