Serbian finance minister cedes economy brief, averts risk of snap poll

The framers on campaign finance law ā€” via Tumblr

Credit: Reuters/Marko Djurica BELGRADE | Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:36am EDT BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbian Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic agreed on Sunday to cede his economy portfolio, averting possible snap elections that could have dented the country’s ambitions to join the European Union. Dinkic said he would remain as finance minister, while the economy portfolio would go to the SNS, Serbia’s biggest party, paving the way for a fuller cabinet reshuffle. Dinkic had previously resisted splitting up his ministry, but Prime Minister Ivica Dacic warned on Saturday that the coalition would go on without him if he did not. Financial markets seem likely to welcome Dinkic’s continued presence in government. He has slowed the rate of increase of Serbia’s budget deficit and public debt, which had ballooned to all but scuppered hopes of a new precautionary loan from the International Monetary Fund.

The answer could prove important to the courts ultimate ruling in the latest post-Citizens United challenge to campaign finance laws. The Supreme Court, in its controversial Citizens United decision, ruled that corporations have the right to spend without limit on ads and other political activity to support a particular candidate or party. The result was $ 1.5 billion in outside spending during the 2012 presidential election. But the court could take this one step further in a new case, casting aside a key limit on direct contributions to candidates and allowing individual high-dollar donors to play an extraordinarily outsized role in elections by giving multimillion-dollar contributions directly to campaigns. This would mark the first time the Supreme Court declared a federal contribution limit unconstitutional, and make it even harder for most Americans to be heard by their elected officials.

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