Smederevo Mayor Resigns Amid Pre-Election Reshuffling in Serbia

St. George Church in Smederevo, Serbia
St. George Church in Smederevo. Photo: Sstruja, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Smederevo – In a surprising development, Jovan Beč, the mayor of Smederevo, Serbia, has resigned from his position. The news was confirmed by Beč himself, who submitted his resignation at the office of the City Administration, though he declined to comment further on his decision.

According to unofficial sources from Serbia’s oldest daily Politika, the resignation is part of a broader political strategy orchestrated by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). In anticipation of the upcoming elections, mayors and municipal presidents from the ruling coalition across Serbia are expected to resign in a similar fashion. This move is seen as a coordinated effort to potentially strengthen the party’s position and present fresh faces in the forthcoming elections.

Beč’s resignation will now be presented to the Assembly of the city of Smederevo. He will remain in a technical mandate until a new mayor is elected. The law mandates that a session of the local parliament must be convened within 30 days from the day of the resignation to elect a new mayor. Failure to meet within this period will prompt the Government of Serbia to appoint a temporary authority and call local elections.

Smederevo holds a crucial position in Serbia’s economy, primarily due to its steel industry. The city is home to one of the largest steel mills in Europe, which was acquired by the Chinese company Hesteel in 2016, saving numerous jobs and providing a significant boost to the local and national economy. Besides steel, Smederevo is strategically located along the Danube River, making it a vital hub for trade and transportation.

Jovan Beč, who has led the city of Smederevo for three years, was elected mayor in August 2020, by the majority of councilors of the local parliament. Prior to his mayoral role, Beč served as the director of public utility company Parking Service and was one of the trustees of the local SNS.

For international observers, this development is a significant indicator of the political maneuvering underway in Serbia ahead of the elections. The coordinated resignation of mayors and municipal presidents from the ruling coalition signals a strategic repositioning, the impact of which will be closely watched in the coming months as the country prepares for elections.

Source/s: / Anadolu Agency

Image source: Sstruja / Wikimedia

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