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The Serbian National Assembly late on Friday unanimously voted to dismiss Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic.
195 deputies that were present voted in favor of the proposal, submitted by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.
The debate that lasted throughout the day was marked by strongly-worded exchanges between representatives of the ruling parties and the opposition.
Deputies from the SNS and other ruling parties a one point walked out of the sitting after Dragan Sutanovac from the opposition DS posted a message on Twitter insulting to Assembly President Maja Gojkovic.
Bratislav Gasic on December 6 made a sexist remark aimed at B92 reporter Zlatija Labovic, that caused criticism among journalistic associations and the public, prompting Vucic to say that he would be dismissed.
On January 30, Vucic signed a proposal to this effect and sent it to the Assembly, appointing Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic as acting minister of defense.
Addressing the assembly on Friday, he called on deputies to approve his decision to dismiss Gasic “for the sake of the decency and civility expected from ministers – not because he is disputing his good results.”
“I filed the motion over one statement, because it was much more than that one statement and one insult,” said Vucic.
Civil, moral and honest conduct is required from ministers, he noted.
“I signed the decision to relieve Bratislav Gasic of his duties as defense minister because our society must be decent and because Serbia must be a decent, normal and modern country,” the prime minister said.
“I ask you to approve the motion with all respect for the serious work that Gasic has done,” Vucic, said, adding that Gasic “did much for Serbia, the Serbian Army and the defense industry,” and that “he who repents and feels shame will be able to behave differently at one time.”
Reports on Friday said that the arrival of Vucic and Gasic to the assembly today was greeted with applause from deputies.