Bloomberg News

Serbian Human Rights Groups Say Firing Soskic Would Be Illegal

July 30, 2012

Serbian human rights groups urged the new government to refrain from firing central bank Governor Dejan Soskic, saying his ouster would be illegal.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s Cabinet, sworn in on July 27, said it would replace Soskic if he resists government efforts to stimulate growth through expansive fiscal policies. Soskic vowed on July 16 not to resign, leaving his removal possible only through constitutional procedures. NIN weekly magazine wrote on July 25 that the government will seek to amend the central bank law within a week or two to remove Soskic.

“With the adoption of a new law on the National Bank of Serbia, with the aim of replacing the governor, the ruling coalition will grossly violate the rule of law in Serbia and fully degrade the status of all independent institutions and regulatory bodies,” organizations including Civic Initiatives, the Belgrade Human Rights Center, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and the Policy Center, said in an e-mail.

The governor is elected to a six-year term after being nominated by the president and confirmed by Parliament. He can be replaced if permanently incapacitated for health reasons, sentenced and jailed for a crime, or if it’s established that his “unprofessional” performance and “serious misconduct” keeps the bank from “accomplishing its primary objective,” according to the central bank law.

Since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, two central bank governors have been dismissed by new governments who took office and changed laws, while one resigned over a disagreement on fiscal policies and the need for public-sector reforms.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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