Ivica Dačić (Serbian Cyrillic: Ивица Дачић, pronounced [îʋitsa dâtʃitɕ]; born 1 January 1966) is a Serbian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Serbia since July 2012. He is the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia, and from 2008 to July 2012 he served as First Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Internal Affairs.
Dačić graduated from the University of Belgrade in 1989, and joined the Socialist Party in 1991. He quickly rose the ranks in the party, becoming the spokesman in 1992, under mentor and President of Serbia and FR Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević. Following the Bulldozer Revolution and ousting of Milošević (2000-2001), Dačić became a member of the main board, and finally, Party leader in 2006. He has worked to reform the party from its former nationalist policies, and has proclaimed a pro-EU path.
Dačić was born in Prizren, but was brought up in Žitorađa. His father Desimir was a police officer, and his mother Jelisaveta "Jela" was a housewife. His parents were both born in villages under the Jastrebac. When Ivica was six months old, the family moved to Žitorađa. He has a sister, Emica. At the age of 5, he was featured in the newspapers in the article "Enciklopedija u kratkim pantalonama" (Encyclopaedia in shorts) as he had learnt to read and write himself, knew the names of many mountains, rivers and capitals, nearly all notable football players and results of matches. His childhood nickname was Bucko ("fatso", a popular nickname in former Yugoslavia), and his class mates at secondary school in Žitorađa have described him as very intelligent for his age - he often managed to amaze the teachers with his knowledge and wit, and he played handball and football and hung out with everyone at school. In the state-run history-contest named "Tito, revolucija, mir", which was held in all republics, Dačić won over 600 others. The family was described as humble and not wealthy, and as they lived off one pay, the parents picked mushrooms and dog rose in order to send Ivica and his sister to school. The parents sold the house in Žitorađa in 2010 and moved to Prokuplje, Desimir had until some years ago driven a 1977 Fiat 500.
He went to gymnasium in Niš, where he excelled with the highest grades (5), and graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Sciences, with a degree in journalism in 1989, with a highest medium grade of 10, and also won the award for best student of scientific achievements. His sister Emica has degrees in pedagogy and drama. He was in the faculty organization Association of Communists, and in 1990 he was elected the first president of the Young Socialists of Belgrade.
At the beginning of the 1990s, he was an editor for the short-lived newspapers of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), "Epoha". He became a member of SPS in the middle of 1991. He was the head of the Information and Propaganda staff of the SPS during the elections in 1992 and 1993, and then a minister of the Citizens' council in the first assembly of Yugoslavia, and member of the Executive Committee of the Main Board (IO GO) and Vice President of the Council for Information and Propaganda of the SPS. He was appointed member of IO GO on the second congress of SPS on October 26, 1992, with the most won votes.
In the mid-1990s, Milošević's influential wife Mirjana Marković moved Dačić to a small office in a Belgrade suburb in order to curb his growing ambitions.
Dačić was appointed member of IO GO again in the next congress in 1996, when there were major personnel changes in the party leadership, and of 27 members of IO GO, voted in 1992, only 5 remained, including Dačić. He was the spokesman of SPS for 8 years, between 1992 and 2000.
In 1996, Dačić was a minister in the Citizens' council of the assembly of Yugoslavia and President of the Committee on Public Information, and in 1997 he was member of the Committee on Foreign Relations. In April 1999, the federal government appointed him a member of the Board of Tanjug, and in early May, as President of the Federal Council of the public institution RTV Yugoslavia.
Overthrow of Slobodan Milošević, President of the SPS Main Board and 2004 elections
He was elected President of the Belgrade Socialists on 10 February 2000, and again on 5 December 2000 in the election conference of the City Board of SPS. Following the Bulldozer Revolution on 5 October 2000, Milošević was arrested by Serbian police on 1 April 2001, and was subsequently transferred to The Hague to be prosecuted by the ICTY. In the transitional government, from October 2000 to January 2001, Dačić was the co-minister of Information alongside Biserka Matić (DOS) and Bogoljub Pejčić (SPO). On 24 September 2000 he was elected the minister of the Citizens' council of the assembly of Yugoslavia, and then member of the Committee on Security and Foreign Policy in both federal assemblies. Dačić reformed the party with his assembling of a team of young moderates, while retaining some of the former figures to satisfy the elderly ex-communists.
He was the President of the Main Board of the SPS and was the Vice President of the SPS from 2000 to 2003, and federal deputy in the Chamber of Citizens of the Federal Assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Assembly of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro from 1992 to 2004. In the sixth congress of SPS, on 18 January 2003, Dačić was elected the President of the Main Board of SPS. Since 2003, he was deputy in the parliament, and head of the parliamentary group of SPS.
He was the party's presidential candidate in the 2004 election and placed fifth with 125,952 votes (4,04%).
He was elected President of the Socialist Party on the seventh congress on 3 December 2006, winning over candidate Milorad Vučelić in the second round with 1287 points, versus 792 points, of the delegates votes.
In 2007, he was the President of the Committee on Security of the Parliament. On 7 July 2008, the government appointed Dačić the first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Police. He became a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
In 2008, the Socialists were back in power as partners of the Democrats in the For a European Serbia-electoral alliance, led by Boris Tadić, after the 2008 Serbian parliamentary election; the Democrats were the main party that had helped oust Milošević. Dačić supported Serbia's EU ambitions.
In August 2010, his family was under police protection after threats by the mafia. In 2012, the Security Information Agency (Serbia's intelligence agency) received information that drug boss Darko Šarić had offered 10 million € for the assassination of Tadić and Dačić.
2012 elections, Prime Minister
The Socialist Party entered a coalition with the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS), and United Serbia. In the 2012 parliamentary election the Socialist Party's coalition had come third with 556.013 votes, 14.53%, 44 seats; The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), led by Tomislav Nikolić, won over the Democratic Party of Tadić in both the parliamentary and 2012 presidential election. On the results, Dačić said "We have risen from the ashes,", after the Party had doubling their results from the previous election. After weeks of negotiations, the Socialist Party left the alliance with the Democrats in favour of the Serbian Progressive Party. Nikolić offered the Prime Minister post to Dačić, and on 28 June 2012, Dačić received the mandate to form a new Government of Serbia. Dačić assumed office on 27 July. He said at a reception: "In this chamber there are many who toppled us in 2000, and I thank them, for if they hadn't toppled us we wouldn't have changed, realised our mistakes and we wouldn't be standing here today.".
The government will include the SPS and SNS, along with several smaller parties, headed by Nikolić, a former nationalist. The election has triggered some unease, as it marks the return of power of Milošević's allies. Dačić has worked on transforming the party since taking over after Milošević, proclaiming a pro-EU path, and abandoning Milošević's nationalist policies. The stagnant economy has resulted in Dačić set to forming a "economic recovery council" by the end of August. The Serbian parliament elected Jorgovanka Tabaković (SNS) as new central bank governor.
|Prime Minister |
|General Affairs |
|First Deputy Prime Minister |
|Defence, Security and the Fight against Corruption and Crime |
|Deputy Prime Minister |
Foreign and Home Trade and Telecommunications
|Rasim Ljajić||SDPS (SNS nominated)|
|Deputy Prime Minister |
Labour, Employment and Social Policy
|Deputy Prime Minister||European Integration||Suzana Grubješić||G17+|
|Minister||Finance and Economy||Mlađan Dinkić||G17+|
|Minister||Foreign Affairs||Ivan Mrkić||ind. (SNS nominated)|
|Minister||Construction and Urbanism||Velimir Ilić||NS|
|Minister||Justice and Public Administration||Nikola Selaković||SNS|
|Minister||Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management||Goran Knežević||SNS|
|Minister||Education, Science and Technological Development||Žarko Obradović||SPS|
|Minister||Energy, Development and Environmental Protection||Zorana Mihajlović||SNS|
|Minister||Culture and Information||Bratislav Petković||SNS|
|Minister||Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning||Milan Bačević||SNS|
|Minister||Regional Development and Local Self-Government||Verica Kalanović||G17+|
|Minister||Youth and Sport||Alisa Marić||ind. (SNS nominated)|
|Minister without portfolio||Sustainable Development||Sulejman Ugljanin||SDAS|
Upon becoming Prime Minister, faces the challenges of the declining Economy and Serbia's accession to the EU. Speaking to the new parliament, he said the economic recovery was the state's main priorities, and also pledged to work on corruption and crime.
He has said that Serbia will "co-operate with all the countries of the world, advocate security, stability and good relations in the western Balkans and hold out its hand in reconciliation".
Serbia earned EU candidate status under Tadić's government, and Dačić has said that the new government will implement everything the previous government had accepted in the EU talks.
His supporters point that his pro-EU stance is evident in the handover of Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić under his tenure as Interior Minister, and his role in the visa-free travel for Serbians in the EU.
Status of Kosovo
The political status of Kosovo is the subject of a long-running political and territorial dispute between the Serbian government and Kosovo's largely ethnic Albanian population, stemming from the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the ensuing Yugoslav wars (1991–21 June 1999). In 1999 the administration of the province was handed on an interim basis to the United Nations under the terms of UNSCR 1244 which ended the Kosovo conflict; that resolution reaffirmed the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo but required the UN administration to promote the establishment of substantial autonomy and self-government for Kosovo pending a final settlement for negotiation between the parties. The UN-sponsored talks began in February 2006, and though no agreement was reached between the parties, a proposal from UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari was presented in May 2007 which recommended "supervised independence" for the province (see Ahtisaari Plan). After many weeks of discussions at the UN in New York, the United States, United Kingdom and other European members of the Security Council formally discarded a draft resolution backing Ahtisaari's proposal on 20 July 2007, having failed to secure Russian backing.
On 17 February 2008 members of the Assembly of Kosovo declared independence. Declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia. It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-majority political institutions, the first having been proclaimed on 7 September 1990. The legality of the declaration, and indeed whether it was an act of the Assembly, was disputed. Serbia sought international validation and support for its stance that the declaration was illegal, and in October 2008 Serbia requested an advisory opinion on the matter from the International Court of Justice. The Court determined that the declaration of independence was not in violation of international law.
In 2006, upon being elected party leader, Dačić said that he had no problem fighting for Kosovo as he had done it before.
The recognition of Kosovo by Serbia is not a requirement for Serbia's EU accession. EU opposes any partition of Kosovo into ethnic entities. In May 2011, he said that the partition of Kosovo would be the "only realistic solution".
On 25 July 2011, the North Kosovo crisis began when the Kosovo Police crossed into the Serb-controlled municipalities of North Kosovo, in an attempt to control several border crossings without the consultation of either Serbia or KFOR/EULEX. Though tensions between the two sides eased somewhat after the intervention of NATO's KFOR forces, they continued to remain high amid concern from the EU, who also blamed Kosovo for the unilateral provocation.
On 24 November 2011, he said that he saw the Republic of Kosovo's incident with Serbs in North Kosovo as an attack on Serbia.
BBC News has said that the nationalist leanings of Kosovo-born Dačić have raised speculation about the policy towards the Kosovo issue, which may implicate on Serbia's EU application.
The Socialists controlled gas monopoly Srbijagas which entered partnership with Russian oil giant Gazprom in the coalition with the Democatic Party.
Dačić has pledged to promote greater social justice and tackle the rise of unemployment and decline in industry, which he blamed on unrestrained capitalism. With the euro zone crisis, Serbia, as other Balkan countries, sees high debt, creeping inflation and falling exports.
On 12 July, he called the Serbian financial sector "the greatest enemy of the people". The stagnant economy has resulted in Dačić set to forming a "economic recovery council" by the end of August. Dejan Šoškić was replaced as Governor of National Bank of Serbia by Jorgovanka Tabaković on 6 August 2012.
Mentorship of Slobodan Milošević
Due to his spokesmanship to Milošević, sharp tongue and round person, he has received the nickname "Little Sloba" after his mentor. Dačić said that the Socialist Party he inherited from Milošević made mistakes, but he still reveres Milošević. He has said, regarding his history with Milošević: "The past is of no interest to me because I cannot change it but we can do something to change our country's future.".
Nenad Sebek, executive director of the Centre for Reconciliation and Democracy think-tank said "Dačić is one of the most intelligent and cunning politicians in Serbia [...] Without ever saying sorry for what his party did during the 1990s under Milošević, Dačić single-handedly returned the Socialists to the political mainstream in Serbia." Sebek continued: "He is extremely smart and likely to be very cooperative when negotiating with the international community, but he's still an eyesore for anyone who doesn't have the memory of a goldfish."
The EU had earlier listed Dačić among persons in Slobodan Milošević's circle prohibited from entering the EU.[when?]
He is married to Sanja, and has a son, Luka, and a daughter, Andrea. Apart from Serbian, Dačić speaks Russian and English. Dačić is a licensed amateur radio operator with the callsign YU1YU.
Dačić has been the President of KK Partizan, Sport Association of Serbia, and Vice President of the Olympic Committee of FR Yugoslavia. He was appointed President of RK Partizan on 23 June 2007.
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