Civil Initiative to Serbia's PM: Dismiss Finance Minister by Thursday

Civil Initiative to Serbia's PM: Dismiss Finance Minister by Thursday

Civil Initiative to Serbia's PM: Dismiss Finance Minister by Thursday Izvor: N1

"Don't Let Belgrade Drown" initiative organised a protest outside the Finance Ministry on Monday evening demanding Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to oust her cabinet member, the Finance Minister Sinisa Mali by Thursday and called on people to gather again then, N1 reported.

The Initiative had demanded an urgent replacement of Mali after the Belgarde University Professional Ethics Commission ruled he plagiarised his doctorate after determined he used other people's work without attribution this showing non-academic behaviour.

Earlier on Monday, they locked up the main doors to the Ministry with padlocks and chains, to prevent Mali from coming to work.

All the speakers at the evening rally agreed that someone who stole intellectual property should not be left to guard the state coffers.

They also reminded the crowd about Mali's earlier professional affairs when he was a member of the nowadays opposition Democratic Party, and a private one when his former wife accused him of domestic violence.

Earlier in the day, the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by President Aleksandar Vucic unanimously condemned the Commission decision, some even demanding the resignations of the University Rector Ivanka Popovic, saying the University professors were not competent in that case.

Vucic, Brnabic and Mali described the Commission ruling as a political act, but Vucic later said Mali would have to pay a political price, adding he still did not know which one.

Biljana Stojkovic, a professor at the Biology Faculty, said that an MP in charge of the Education Council "described us as a systematic disease of the society," adding "it's either them or us."

She warned: "They let us know what they intend to do. They want to step down on us since we are the only institution they haven't penetrated yet and we're a target now."

"The person who steals should not be let near the budget," Stojkovic said, adding she expected Mali's revenge against the University. However, she said, "free citizens mean free state. We must liberate ourselves. It's time to tell what we think loud and clear – they should go."  

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