Socialist Party of Serbia president Ivica Dacic, recently elected new speaker of the Serbian parliament, said on Oct. 23 that it was "the highest office" he had ever held, and denied reports in some media outlets that he had "sacrificed" so that other Socialists could obtain office.
Dacic told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation that he owed a debt of gratitude to the president of Serbia and the Serbian Progressive Party, Aleksandar Vucic, for putting him forward for such a high office, "because he didn't have to."
"I've seen various kinds of information and disinformation recently. They don't understand one thing -- that Vucic and I never spoke in those terms. We talked about business and what comes next. He believes that, at this time and with the need for the parliament to do what is expected, I can make the greatest contribution in the office of parliament speaker," Dacic explained.
Dacic said he had not taken the office in order to be a "figurehead speaker" and that this was "the second highest office in the state" because the parliament "elects the government and oversees the government."
"Whoever thinks this is a titular office only is thinking the worst of the parliament -- that it's some kind of non-entity, and that is an impression we cannot allow," Dacic said, adding that he would call a session of the parliament for Oct. 24, after he received the bill on ministries.