Giving the mandate to form the government is regulated by the Constitution and the Law on the President of the Republic. Although these legal sources are relatively precise, different interpretations of this issue can be heard in the pubic.

Firstly, the President of the Republic has the jurisdiction to give the mandate: “The President of the Republic proposes a candidate for Prime Minster to the National Assembly, after consulting with the representatives of electoral lists” (Article 27, paragraph 1 of the Constitution).

Secondly, the mandate is given following a procedure prescribed by the Constitution, i.e. after the President of the Republic’s mandatory consulting with the representatives of electoral lists (Article 27, paragraph 1 of the Constitution). Consulting with the representatives is a procedural issue. Consulting is mandatory, but the opinions offered are not legally binding for the President of the Republic, and have no practically legal value.

Thirdly, giving the mandate is not a discretionary right of the President of the Republic, due to the fact that he has to give the mandate to someone, and that he cannot choose to whom the mandate will be given. Article 18 of the Law on the President of the Republic says:

“The President of the Republic proposes to the National Assembly a candidate for Prime Minister, each time a new government is being formed.
The President has the duty to propose to the National Assembly the one candidate for Prime Minister who can ensure that the government is elected.”

Thus, in Serbia, unlike some other states, the President of the Republic cannot give the mandate to the party with the highest number of MPs, if that party cannot ensure that a government will be elected, i.e. if it does not have the absolute majority in the Assembly. Since none of the parties on this election ensured an absolute majority, that is, have 126 seats in the Assembly, the mandate to form the government can be given only to a coalition which ensures the election of the government, that is, which has 126 seats in the Assembly. If/when a coalition which ensures the election of the government appears, the President of the Republic must give the mandate to a representative of that coalition. This is a legal obligation of the President of the Republic, clearly stated in Article 18, paragraph 2 of the Law on the President of the Republic: the President of the Republic is under the obligation to propose to the National Assembly the one candidate for Prime Minister who can ensure the election of the government, i.e. who presents to him a coalition agreement ensuring the absolute majority in the National Assembly. For example, if Jorgovanka Tabakovic does not have a signed coalition agreement testifying that she has secured at least 126 votes for the election of the Government, the President of the Republic cannot give her the mandate, since that would entail violating the Constitution and the Law on the President of the Republic.

Peščanik.net, 23.05.2012.


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Vesna Rakić Vodinelić
Vesna Rakić Vodinelić, beogradska pravnica, 1975-1998. predaje na državnom pravnom fakultetu u Beogradu, gde kao vanredna profesorka dobija otkaz posle donošenja restriktivnog Zakona o univerzitetu i dolaska Olivera Antića za dekana. Od 1987. članica Svetskog udruženja za procesno pravo. 1998-1999. pravna savetnica Alternativne akademske obrazovne mreže (AAOM). 1999-2001. rukovodi ekspertskom grupom za reformu pravosuđa Crne Gore. Od 2001. direktorka Instituta za uporedno pravo. Od 2002. redovna profesorka Pravnog fakulteta UNION, koji osniva sa nekoliko profesora izbačenih sa državnog fakulteta. Od 2007. članica Komisije Saveta Evrope za borbu protiv rasne diskriminacije i netolerancije. Aktivizam: ljudska prava, nezavisnost pravosuđa. Politički angažman: 1992-2004. Građanski savez Srbije (GSS), 2004-2007. frakcija GSS-a ’11 decembar’, od 2013. bila je predsednica Saveta Nove stranke, a ostavku na taj položaj podnela je u aprilu 2018, zbog neuspeha na beogradskim izborima. Dobitnica nagrade „Osvajanje slobode“ za 2020. godinu.
Vesna Rakić Vodinelić

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