Serbian president steps down as party leader

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Friday that he is stepping down as leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Vucic's made the announcement at the "Serbia of Hope" rally in Belgrade where he urged the country to show unity in difficult times.

''This is the last evening that I join you as leader of the SNS,” he said. “Tomorrow someone else will take over but I will remain as a faithful and loyal member of the party.”

"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. We will fight for Serbia together," he added.

Vucic will form the "Movement for the People and the State,” movement, which, according to him, will serve Serbia in the coming two to three years for a crucial period.

The rally was attended by more than 200,000 in support of Vucic, according to media reports.

Thousands of ethnic Serbs are converging on the city from neighboring North Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vucic was head of the Progressive Party since 2012 after Tomislav Nikolic was elected president of the country.

Serbia, which aspires to become an EU member, has resisted implementing Western sanctions on Russia because of Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

Vucic has repeatedly said he is being pressured by Western allies to sanction Russia.

Russia backs Serbia’s refusal to recognize the independence of its former province of Kosovo -- an issue which recently exacerbated tensions between Belgrade and Pristina.


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