Can opposition parties unite before election?

It is already clear that a single opposition bloc that would unite the so-called left and right, like the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) from the year 2,000, is not a realistic option prior to the election.

 Currently, opposition parties in Serbia are divided into two group – a civil option and a national one.

Irreconcilable differences regarding the sanctions against Russia or Serbia’s membership in the EU and NATO, the solution to the Kosovo problem and above all the personal relations between the leaders, are the main obstacles to the Serbian opposition uniting.

But the question arises why it is not realistic that parties of the same “ideological” orientation cannot work together, which was also seen in the past parliamentary elections.

At that time, the so-called left or civil opposition formed three major coalitions that took part in the election: United for the Victory of Serbia (Party of Freedom and Justice, People’s Party, Democratic Party, DZVM- VMDK, Party of Macedonians of Serbia, Movement of Free Citizens, Sloga Trade Union Association, Movement for Upheaval, Free Serbia Movement, Vlach Party), then the Moramo coalition (Action, Ecological Uprising, Ne Davimo Beograd) and the Let’s Go People coalition (Social Democratic Party, New Party, 1 of 5 Million Movement, Tolerance of Serbia, United Green Movement of Serbia, Bosniak Civic Party and Montenegrin Party).

The right was no more divided either, which also split into three coalitions at the elections – Hope for Serbia (National Democratic Alternative, Democratic Party of Serbia, For the Kingdom of Serbia (Monarchists), the coalition that included Dveri, POKS and the Patriotic Block for the Reconstruction Kingdom of Serbia and the coalition centred around the Zavetnici party.

Serbia Against Violence protests did bring the “left” together again, but not too much. Since the election, Zdravko Ponoš’s Serbia Center party and Miroslav Aleksić’s Narodni pokret Srbije movement have emerged.

Political experts say that since united opposition is not possible, the most realistic solution is that the opposition will split into three groups and that the president of Serbia will try to divide the opposition even further until the elections, which are announced for April or May 2024.

Political scientist Boban Stojanović says that it seems that having two opposition groups is unrealistic. He believes that one would have the best chances because it would create a perception among people that change is possible. He adds that better election results are possible if the opposition centred around civil options unites and that they would win at least 40% of the votes, while the nationalist-centred opposition would win 20%, providing they unite too.

“The worst problem is that, until the next elections in June 2024, different opposition factions will clash more with each other over topics such as relations between leaders, the French-German plan for Kosovo and how much of conservative influx they should allow, than the party in power,” Stojanović adds.

(Danas, 11.10.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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