Sad state of Serbian opposition

Serbian political opposition is in a chaotic state, and that’s nothing new. However, the fact that the opposition is still using the old excuses and battles with the same vanity, while hungry workers are protesting in the street, is what really baffles the mind – says Deutsche Welle.

There have been a lot of talks about the opposition uniting, but there is a also a constant emphasis on ideological differences which prevent the opposition from coming together and putting up a political fight. It seems that it is impossible to assemble all parties, including those that are against Serbia joining NATO and the EU, those which favour regional cooperation and reconciliation, and those that would like to go into a war a little bit more.

There was a Plan B about uniting the opposition on several fronts with two distinct segments – the so-called patriotic opposition, and the pro-European opposition. However, this proved to be problematic because nobody knows which party would be considered patriotic particularly when we bear in mind that patriotism in Serbia is often equaled to nationalism. The situation is no better in the so-called pro-European opposition. At first glance, the parties that make this opposition have no ideological differences, but there is a lot of vanity and leadership ambitions. Also, a part of the opposition still has a hard time understanding that even if they call themselves ‘pro-European’ that won’t guarantee them election win.

Political analyst Milan Nikolic says that the idea about dividing the opposition into two segments is not bad, but also not enough to win elections. „Еven if you have this so-called pro-European segments, which manners are just slightly better and more democratic, their programme is not that different to the one promoted by the governing party. They need to offer more, primarily in the social and economic segment“, Nikolic adds.

Another problem is that, allegedly, quite a few opposition parties have been ‘flirting’ with Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) by offering their political services or support.

Milan Nikolic also says that the opposition parties are making rudimental mistakes and mentions some of them refusing to recently meeting with the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for Serbia, David McAllister because he allegedly “supports Vucic”.

“They (the opposition) object to McAllister being in contact with Vucic? That is utter nonsense and I cannot believe they would say something like that”, Nikolic say and adds that he is surprised at just how immature the opposition is.

Political analyst Branko Radun also thinks that the opposition parties focusing too much on Vucic will be more detrimental than beneficial to them. “First of all, you cannot talk about Vucic all the time. If we are talking about participating in the local election in Belgrade, than say something about Belgrade”, Radun underlines.

Of course, not all is lost. There are some mitigating circumstances for the Serbian opposition. The opposition is exposed to an incredible pressure from the media, the government’s obstructions at all level and sometimes they are even openly threatened. In such situation, the opposition blames the international community as one of the main culprits because of their refusal to get involved and continuing to support Aleksandar Vucic. This does make sense to a certain agree, but it is also immature for the opposition to ask the international community to “babysit” them, instead of facing their own problems head on.

Practically speaking, the opposition did not make a single move towards resisting the authorities – they are sitting in the Parliament, not participating in or launching political protests, and missing out on an opportunity to capitalize on a growing dissatisfaction of the workers in Serbia.

(Nova Ekonomija, 27.08.2017)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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