It took just 57 days, which by Serbian standards is pretty quick. It’s a strange beast, with Milosevic’s old Socialist party riding shotgun on a coalition of pro-Western liberals and technocrats, but it’s actually less insane than what they had before. In order to make it work, they had to pass a Law on Government authorizing a whopping 28 Ministers or Ministry-level positions… it was the only way they could keep all coalition members satisfied.
The new PM is Mirko Cvetkovic. I knew him slightly when he worked as Deputy Minister for Privatization a few years back. He struck me as intelligent, hard-working, focused, and tough, but also as stubborn, gruff, and not inclined to suffer fools gladly. Those are just one man’s impressions from several years ago, so take them with a grain of salt.
This is the most liberal government Serbia has had since Zoran Djindjic was shot back in March 2003. (I don’t include Djindjic’s hapless successor Zivkovic.) It’s worth recalling that when Djindjic was shot, his approval ratings were in single digits… which is one reason his killers thought they could get away with it. I’m just sayin’.
The new government inherits various problems that will be tiresomely familiar to anyone interested in Serbia, and one big new one: how to handle the issue of Kosovo independence. Should be interesting to watch.
Finally, via Eric Gordy, here’s the “form your own Serbian government!” game. (You don’t have to read Serbian: it’s pretty self-explanatory.) I think they made it too easy to win… but then I suppose a realistically hard version would take around 55 days to play. I also think this could be turned into a real tool by some clever young political science grad student somewhere.
Anyway, congratulations to the new government, and good luck.
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