The head of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vucic, is close to making a decision to call parliamentary election in spring this year. If he and the party’s top management agree to do this, the elections could take place on 31st March or 14th April – the Vecernje Novosti unofficially finds out.
According to the informal sources, the head of the SNS and the president of Serbia has not yet made a final decision, but everything points towards early parliamentary elections.
Vucic has already discussed this option with his closest associates and the topic will also be discussed in the coming weeks, at the meeting of the SNS presidency.
Also, another factor in favour of holding snap parliamentary election would be Pristina continuing to apply the increased tax on goods from Serbia and blocking the dialogue with Belgrade, due to terrible inertness of the EU regarding the issue.
Two days ago, Vucic said that the stalemate regarding the talks with Kosovo could be one of the reasons for calling early elections:”If Pristina does not abolish the tax, it becomes clear that they will continue with their blackmail policy. If that is the case, we have no other option but to go to the polls. This will feed Haradinaj’s idea of removing me from power.”
After the meeting with Vladimir Putin, Vucic has publicly said that he doubts that a compromise and sustainable solution for Kosovo and Metohija would be found soon, so the speculation that he cannot call early election since the EU insists on the Kosovo issue to be resolved in the first half of this year has no merit. Furthermore, the EU itself will embark on the pre-election campaign in April, and then there is the election for the European Parliament, which all means that the EU will be in an institutional vacuum for the entire 2019.
One should also bear in mind the situation at home too, i.e. the SNS exerting pressure on Vucic to call the election now, regardless of the fact that the regular parliamentary election is due next year.
This was clearly told to the SNS leader at a recent gathering in at the Pinki Hall in Zemun, where about 3,000 SNS delegates made it clear that they were in favour of battling against the opposition at polls.
According to the SNS, the second, equally important factor is the protests which “are only civil on the surface but are actually organized by Dragan Djilas, Vuk Jeremic and Bosko Obradovic”, and that these protests could gain momentum with the support of foreign powers. The Progressives also cite the surveys as another reason for going to the polls soon – according to various surveys, they would get over 50% of votes.
Following the visit of President Putin to Serbia, the Western media and their branches in Serbia have been reporting about “the cemented friendship” with Moscow and Serbia enjoying an even stronger support from Russia, which, in turn, could prompt the Western politicians, particularly the British, to sway even more towards the protesters.
Political analyst Dragomir Andjelkovic says that if Serbia has the prospect of continuing the negotiations in a proper way, which means that the goal of the talks is to strive for a compromise solution, the elections can wait.
“But if there is no chance that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will continue in due course, then we can go to the polls. The pressure from the West is huge and this pressure could diminish if early elections are called. We should not forget the EU elections too. After all of this takes place, we can assess which direction the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina will take, “says Andjelkovic.
(Vecernje Novosti, 20.01.2019)
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