Serbia premier reinstates ally sacked after sexist remark

2017-05-22 18:40
(AP)

(AP)

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Belgrade - A Serbia ex-defence minister who was dismissed after insulting a female journalist with a sexist remark will become the new head of the state security agency, the prime minister said on Monday.

Aleksandar Vucic said that former Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic "has the skills and will perform his duties according to the law".

Gasic sparked outrage in December 2015 after a journalist knelt down in front of him to avoid being in the way of cameras as he spoke to a group of reporters during a visit to a factory. He commented: "I like these female journalists who kneel down so easily."

Vucic, who steps down as prime minister on May 31 to become Serbia's new president, had reluctantly agreed to fire Gasic, one of his closest associates, after a series of protests organised by Serbia's journalist unions. Gasic said at the time that he was sacked under Western pressure because of his pro-Russia stance.

"Bratislav Gasic was banished from the public scene for a year and a half," Vucic said. "I think he paid a very, very high price for a serious incident."

The reinstatement triggered outrage from the opposition.

"Bratislav Gasic is unworthy of any public position and with him and the helm of BIA [security agency] we can expect ... complete politicising of this civilian agency which will be completely loyal to Aleksandar Vucic and his party," said Dragan Sutanovac, a former defence minister and head of the opposition Democratic Party.


Read more on:    aleksandar vucic  |  serbia

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