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Serbian President Nikolic Discussed Office Swap With Prime Minister Vucic

© AP Photo / Amel EmricAleksandar Vucic, Serbia's prime minister. File photo
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's prime minister. File photo - Sputnik International
Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic said Friday he had discussed trading his office for that of a prime minister with incumbent Aleksandar Vucic, in an interview with Sputnik.

BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Nikolic did not rule out running for a second term in this year’s presidential election but hinted at arrangements with Vucic, the co-founder of his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).

"I can tell you we had two scenarios in mind: the first one was me running for president with his backing, while the second involved him standing for presidency and me backing him on condition that I come back as SNS leader and receive a mandate to form a new government," Nikolic said.

Nikolic has lost support of the ruling SNS party since he became president of Serbia in 2012 and handed over the party’s leadership to his close ally Vucic.

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Nikolic and Vucic co-founded the SNS nine years ago. After he was elected president, Nikolic handed over the party’s reins to Vucic, pledging to speak out for the entire country, and has since lost most of conservative support. The incumbent president did not rule out running for a second term.

Earlier in the day, the conservatives nominated Vucic as their candidate for this year’s presidential election. But the sitting president said Vucic had previously offered working together.

The date of the Serbian presidential election has not been officially announced yet, but it could reportedly be held on April 9, 2017.

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