As far as the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is concerned, the pre-election campaign is in full swing, and there is no shortage of enemies, while the opposition is in the Kingdom of Darkness ahead of the announced dialogue on elections’ conditions, according to Dragoslav Dedovic, a Deutsche Welle (DW) journalist.
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic is not in pre-election mode only when he is in deep sleep, he adds.
According to Dedovic, Vucic is a politician who functions the best in an aggressive atmosphere. When there is no drama, he must create it. Coup d’etat, assassination attempts, world conspiracy… The coronavirus pandemic brought him to natural operating temperature, Dedovic adds.
“Shouting at journalists, opposition and non-existent enemies, violation of the Constitution, ubiquity on pro-regime TV channels – all that is a recognisable style of – I am a party. The party is the state. L’état c’est moi,“ Dedovic wrote.
He added that the criminals who butchered people spoiled the SNS ideal image since they were linked to the top leaders and wiretapping of people under surveillance and who Vucic talked to politely.
There is also a rift between Vucic and Defence Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic while SNS is worried about the local election’s result in the eastern town of Zajecar.
Local election in Zajecar was a mistake in the SNS system, although everything was done according to a tested recipe.
As for the opposition, their dilemma is quite big – if you don’t try, you are a defeatist. If you do try, you have little chance of success. Djindjic once said that when Sisyphus pushes the stone up the hill, most Serbs cheer for the stone. In this story, Sisyphus is the opposition and the stone is Vucic.
On the other hand, Brussels is not yet ready to mobilise major political divisions in the name of Serbian democracy and Vucic knows this. But he also knows that another single-party parliament would still close some doors. In a report on Serbia’s non-existent progress towards EU membership, the European Commission noted in October “the absence of a sustainable opposition in parliament”. If given a choice, Vučić would allow the opposition to be present, but not to be sustainable.
He would be fine with three or four other groups entering parliament to occupy a maximum of 30% of seats. This would not harm the distribution of power, but would be an excellent alibi for the autocratic government.
(N1, DW, 19.04.2021)
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