Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) official and former water polo star, Aleksandar Sapic, was appointed mayor of Belgrade on Monday after a vote by city members of the municipal assembly resulted in a paper-thin majority for Sapic.
Sapic and his deputy Vesna Vidovic (SNS) won 57 out of 110 votes cast by members of the Belgrade City Assembly. The ruling SNS and its ally the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) control 56 seats on the Assembly, with the additional vote coming from a deputy who used to belong to the monarchist Movement for the Restoration of the Kingdom of Serbia (POKS) but has since been expelled from the party.
The municipal assembly also elected members of the city council. Sapic said in a speech after his election that he wants Belgrade to be “a healthier, more humane and functional champion city.”
“Along with my gratitude, I want to symbolically set an agenda with just one Item – an item that has to be above all of us, and which we should never forget. That item is Belgrade. That is something we will live with, agreeing or not agreeing, but that is the thing which brings together all the similarities and differences among us,” he said.
Before his career in politics, Sapic had spent nearly two decades as a professional water polo player, and was a member of the national squad which won Olympic medals in 2000, 2004, and 2008.