Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, one of the signatories of the declaration of a state of emergency in Serbia, often refers in public appearances to the state of emergency as “the state of war”, although these are two completely different categories. After the conflicts that Serbian citizens have endured in the not too distant past, using the words “state of war” in any context and especially in such circumstances seems inappropriate, say interlocutors of the Danas daily.
They also believe that this misuse of rhetoric shows how much the Prime Minister is not familiar with the Constitution and reveals her intention to militarize the Serbian society.
Retired law professor Vesna Rakic Vodinelic says for Danas that the declaration of a state of emergency and war is determined by different causes, which is evident from the terminology itself.
“The consequences of both, however, may be the same when it comes to limiting human rights. The Constitution, in Article 202, regulates equally the restrictions of these rights in the state of emergency and war, and imposes the same prohibitions. However, not only during the epidemic, the Prime Minister shows how little she knows about the Constitution and this can be attributed to the use of the wrong term. I do not exclude the fact that, looking at her role model and mentor (Vucic), she tries to militarize the society in Serbia and often raises the tone when talking about “the fight against an invisible enemy”, Professor Rakic-Vodinelic adds.
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Also, the sociologist Jovo Bakic believes that the Prime Minister tries to emulate her “boss” when she speaks:
“She is the Progressive’s (SNS) apprentice at the head of government and every time she speaks she emulates her leader in tone – she is an actress, haughty, insensitive, manipulative, and very irritating. The epidemic will pass and a vaccine will be found while it remains to be seen what remedy should be applied in the case of the two of them, who are more dangerous to people in Serbia than the virus. I would not want to be in their shoes when the time comes to start a long process of healing a deeply ill society.”
Political scientist Boban Stojanovic also warns about the consequences of such behaviour:
“I don’t know what they’re up to. It’s as if they wanted to remind this nation, in the face of all these problems, of the 1990s. Obviously, the state of emergency is a consequence of a virus pandemic. But instead of appeasing the citizens, it seems to me that the government (and in particular the Vucic-Brnabic tandem) often wants to scare people even more”, Stojanovic concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano