Former chief-of-staff of the Army of Serbia (VS), retired General Zdravko Ponos, 58, might be the country’s opposition candidate for the head of state in the next spring election, the Nova daily reported on Monday.
Ponos, who may face current President Aleksandar Vucic, is a member of the centre-right opposition People’s Party (NS) led by a former Foreign Minister and an ex-President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic.
The daily said a possible candidate for the Mayor of Belgrade, where the opinion polls give the opposition a chance to win, would be a non-party candidate, the daily said.
The majority votes elect the Mayor in the city’s Parliament.
“It was expected that a part of opposition opts for a non-party candidate either for the presidential or Belgrade elections. The latter has more logic,” Dragan Popovic, the Centre for Practical Policy director, told Nova daily.
A part of Serbia’s opposition, including the Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP), Democratic Party (DS), the Free Citizens Movement, and the Movement for Reversal, are closing the deal about running on a single list in an early general election, the daily said, citing unanimous sources.
Ponos, as a retired General, is believed to may attract votes in the presidential elections since he has not been involved in politics before and comes from the highest place in the VS, one of few institutions Serbia’s people trust. Besides, people may have confidence in Ponos, who, as former military, could be seen as a tough and non-corruptive politician, coming from the centre-right political organisation which could attract a part of the country nationalist electorate.
However, his unofficial nomination months before an election campaign for the vote due on April 3 could trigger attacks on him in pro-regime media and by some ruling politicians.
Besides, his party has advocated a single opposition list.