A key member of every government since he revived the Socialist Party’s fortunes in 2008, Dacic has struggled to escape the shadow of his senior Progressive Party partners.
Foreign minister by occupation, journalist by education and an entertainer with a microphone whenever there is an opportunity, Ivica Dacic anxiously anticipates a fourth consecutive term in the Serbian government.
Although Dacic leads the second-strongest political party in Serbia, which he himself has lifted up from the edge of the 5-per-cent threshold needed to enter parliament, success in the snap election set for April 24 is not entirely assured.
According to the Faktor plus polling agency, while Aleksandar Vucic’s dominant Serbian Progressive Party stands to win a whopping 52.6 per cent of votes cast, Dacic’s coalition of two parties is in line to win only 11.9 per cent.
Apart from lagging far behind Vucic’s Progressives, Dacic’s Socialists have lost one of their key allies and longtime coalition partners, the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia, PUPS, which has signed a coalition agreement with the Progressives.
After reportedly only learning of this development from the media, he accused the PUPS leader, Milan Krkobabic, of behaving unfairly.
Dacic then hurried up to replace PUPS with a less significant partner, the Greens of Serbia.
Nevertheless, Dacic is still convinced that he can win a fair number of seats in parliament with his devoted ally Dragan Markovic “Palma”, leader of United Serbia.
“Our people need victories. There have been lots of defeats and the SPS-JS coalition will fight so that there are more victories because this coalition works exclusively in the interests of the Serbian citizens,” Dacic said recently.
He also expects Vucic to invite him once again to join a post-election coalition government.
“We expect around half million of votes and in that capacity it is very logical to expect continued cooperation [with the Progressives], but SNS must decide that,” Dacic said.