Although the ruling party is strengthening positions among its electorate and beyond after the arrests of Veljko Belivuk’s criminal group by telling the narrative of their fight against organized crime, the opposition can also take advantage of this by asking the right questions, insisting on future arrests and establishing the responsibility of the politicians from the ruling party connected with the arrested criminals and people responsible for blurring the line between the state and the mafia.
Since opponents of the government very rarely, if ever, praise the very rare good moves of the regime, the question arises as to how the opposition should react now, given the importance of the topic and the fact that this is a good move by the state authorities.
Sociologist Jovo Bakić says that “one should wonder when the government will stop itself, i.e. wipe out the top brass of the mafia.”
“What was Belivuk doing for the regime? What did Sale Mutavi do for the regime? What are the connections between certain criminals and Aleksandar Vučić’s son? What is the role of Milan Radojičić and Zvonko Veselinović in the authoritarian-mafia regime? These are all questions that the top leadership of this country must answer to the people. Also, we need to deal with the fact that the hooligan groups, who support football clubs Crvena Zvezda and Partizan, are hotbeds of Nazis. These are all key issues for this society,” says Bakić.
Dejan Bursać, a researcher from the Institute of Political Studies, says that these are “easy points” for the opposition, i.e. they can use them powerful arguments against the regime. “These are ‘easy points’ because there are serious indications of political and private ties of the arrested criminals and government officials. The opposition should definitely react. Remember that Vučić won the elections in 2012 and 2014 counting on his history of fighting crime and corruption. And then, as the period of exercising power passed, that story has subsided by now,” he says.
Political scientist Vuk Velebit underlines it is an undisputable fact that the said arrests are the first serious blow to the mafia, and that is something that all should agree upon – including the opposition and those who criticize the government.
“I think the government should be encouraged to continue the showdown with the mafia because that is in the best interest of all citizens. But the opposition can always insist on politicians in power being held responsible for state-mafia relations. Who protected all those people and allowed a new Zemun clan to emerge? The Jovanjica affair is the best example of how the government protects certain people. The opposition can create a good narrative here about the connection between government, institutions and crime,” Velebit concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano