Serbs only trust leaders who rule with an iron fist

The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCBP) conducted a survey on what Serbian citizens think about the state of democracy in Serbia, how much they trust the institutions, and whether they are ready to participate in activist initiatives. The results show that there is no democracy in Serbia and that it is not even wanted that much.

On the one hand, citizens are widely aware that Serbia is not a democratic country, that politicians are corrupt and that institutions are not doing their job, but on the other hand, they see a way out of the current situation only by having a “strong” leader.

According to the Center, the explanation for this can be found in the citizens’ attitude that the main decisions in the country are made by the executive powers, that politicians use power to pursue their personal interests and that corruption from domestic or foreign sources is the main driving force in the country. The survey results also show that institutions are very corrupt and abused by politicians, and responsibility should be taken by a leader who is professional and rules with an “iron fist.”

Zoran Gavrilović, a researcher from BIRODI, told Danas daily that the survey results are in line with the results of a BIRODI survey from 2019, according to which 8 out of 10 respondents agreed with the opinion that there is a need for a “strong leader”.

“A media analysis conducted by BIRODI shows that the media are painting a picture of a leader above law and solves all of the nation’s problems. This is due to populism which serves personal power,” Gavrilović points out.

According to him, the goal of the populist industry is to depoliticize citizens, that is, “to develop an attitude of non-commitment to politics, while promoting a notion that the leader cares about them. The second goal of the populist industry is to destroy the integrity of institutions so that they do not do their job, and leave it to the leader. The third goal of the populist industry is to take away the value of the profession, which means that the profession of civil servants is important, but the loyalty to the leader in performing his Messianic role,” Gavrilović underlines.

Nemanja Nenadić, director of Transparency Serbia, estimates that the percentage of citizens who think that Serbia needs a “strong leader” is not surprising and that that percentage has been confirmed many times, not only in previous public opinion polls but also in practice, in elections. “I believe that the number of citizens who decide who to vote for on the basis of personalities is much higher than that shown in the research,” says Nenadić.

(Danas, 02.02.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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