Serbs are going to the polls on Sunday, but they are not really elections

ON SUNDAY, June 21, Serbia is holding parliamentary elections in which 6.5 million voters have the right to vote. The winners are known: the Serbian People’s Party and President Aleksandar Vucic.

This is the second attempt to hold elections for members of the Serbian Parliament. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called parliamentary elections for March 26th on March 4th, but they were not held because a state of emergency was declared due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vučić led the campaign in the pandemic

Officially, the election campaign could not be conducted either – public gatherings were banned, and curfew was in force – but Vučić used the pandemic and crisis management to run the campaign constantly, appearing almost every day at press conferences, on television with a national frequency and distributing medical equipment throughout Serbia.

However, Vučić would not be Vučić if he did not use the state of emergency and the pandemic for psychological abuse of the citizens of Serbia, about which Index wrote extensively.

>> Vučić is leading Serbia to ruin in the coronavirus pandemic

>> Apocalyptic scenes from Serbia: Vučić’s hooligans light torches on the roofs of buildings

>> Furious reactions in Serbia to Index’s article: “You attacked Serbia and Aleksandar Vučić”

In any case, the elections have come again, and in a way they are not, because half of the opposition is boycotting the elections, while half are going to them, as well as the satellite parties of the SNS, whose job is to play opposition to Vučić’s regime in the Assembly. . At the same time, the President of Serbia controls all televisions with a national concession, which, like the tabloids, carry out regime propaganda and demonize the opposition, so that in the media sense, the pre-election match is completely unfair.

Vučić as in a bad sequel to The Matrix

The SNS announced that they would not hold pre-election rallies due to the coronavirus, so their entire campaign was reduced to strange videos, Vučić’s tour of various locations in Serbia and his constant appearance in the media.

>> Vučić held a bizarre gathering on Facebook, surrounded himself with screens from which they applauded him

Vučić started it all with a really bizarre event: he went to Facebook streamao as he sits in the studio and gives a speech to supporters some of whom were connected by video link to the studio, as if on Skype with the president. The matter looked like a scene from a bad sequel to The Matrix, a dystopian version of democracy destroyed by social networks, and Vucic boasted that it was a sign of technological progress that Serbia was achieving under his rule.

Bizarre spots

An SNS video followed, in which Vučić talked to the girl about the importance of building roads, kindergartens and schools, and then told her that he had a plan to bring her dad back from Germany. The video was banned after a few days of media vicissitudes.

>> Vučić’s video in which he tells the girl that he will return her dad from Germany is forbidden

The Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (REM) said their council found that an advertisement by the Serbian Progressive Party, in which Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic talked to a 4-5-year-old girl playing with a train, dice and other toys, lasted of 55 seconds, which is shown on the programs of several media service providers, in violation of the Ordinance on the protection of minors in the segment of media services. Children are not allowed to appear in political propaganda, the law is in Serbia.

Vučić and the SNS members took the decision of REM as proof that there is freedom of the media in Serbia, and if anyone is under attack in the election campaign, then it is Aleksandar Vučić, who is banned from the video.

The truth is just the opposite: SNS and Vučić are in all media all the time, the opposition has access to only some media.

Croatia as a pre-election topic

There was also an attempt to turn Croatia into a pre-election topic. Namely, Vučić and his followers from the government of Ana Brnabić, a few weeks ago began to often mention that Serbia is growing faster than Croatia and that it will recover faster from the crisis caused by the closure in the pandemic, and that this is why Croatian media, including and Index, attack Vučić. Out of envy, claims the President of Serbia.

Assessing the economic situation in Serbia, President Aleksandar Vučić said in the campaign that Belgrade wants good relations with Zagreb, but understands why the Croatian media write something against it every day.

The reason is “that Serbia has three times higher growth rate” than Croatia, said Vučić as a guest on TV Pink, where he said that no one in Croatia published Eurostat data according to which Serbia is the first in the region in terms of GDP growth rate.

“There is a coordinated negative campaign against me in Croatia and a text about me must appear every day, but it doesn’t bother me, it makes me happy, because the essence is to see if something bad can happen to Serbia, so that they would be the leaders. in the region, which has not been going on for three years, “Vucic said

>> Vučić and Vulin: Croatia is deliberately hiding that Serbia is growing three times faster than it

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>> Vučić commented on the banner from Zagreb: These people are pedophiles, they need to be treated

“The problem is how to explain that in such a sad Vučić’s Serbia, the growth rate is three times higher than theirs,” said Vučić, who is also the president of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party.

Vulin: Croatian policy towards Serbia is a mixture of hatred and complex

While Vučić was a guest on the TV Pink program, the Ministry of Defense issued a statement with a written statement by Minister Aleksandar Vulin in which he assessed that “Croatian policy towards Serbia is a mixture of hatred and complexes”.

“Croatia is closely following our elections, we are not following them at all. In Croatia, they know the name and biography of every minister in our government, and we almost do not know that their government exists,” said Vulin. The attitude towards Serbia “is one of the key points of the pre-election programs in Croatia”, he assessed and continued: “And we can hardly remember them, except when they swear publicly to the mayor again, that they did not secretly stop working.”

“Croatian official policy, as well as the Ustasha scum, does not stop attacking Vučić and Serbia,” added Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, who is in charge of provoking quarrels with Croatia when it suits Vučić.

Danilo Vučić became the main topic of the election campaign

Fortunately, there was no reaction from Croatia to Vučić’s provocations, so that topic quickly died down, and then, with an unexpected set of events, Aleksandar Vučić’s son, Danilo, turned into the main topic of the election campaign.

A journalist from the independent research portal Krik photographed Danilo Vučić in a Belgrade bar in the company of a well-known football hooligan.

Vučić Jr. was in the company of Aleksandar Vidojević aka Aco Rošavi, a hooligan close to the Kavač clan, and the duo watched a football derby between Zvezda and Partizan in a cafe in the very center of Belgrade. The journalists were then deprived of their mobile phones, and the police who were nearby did not want to intervene at all.

>> Vučić’s son seen with a member of the Kavač clan, the journalist who took pictures of them took his mobile phone

Ana Brnabic talks about “22-year-old boy”

In Vučić’s version, it was “the persecution of an innocent child”, his 22-year-old son, who is known for hanging out with hooligans and mobsters. Now, Danilo Vučić has suddenly become, as formulated without irony by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, a “22-year-old boy” who is being persecuted by the evil media on the orders of the evil opposition.

At one point, Brnabić became so engrossed in the role of “Danilo Vučić’s lawyer”, as she defined herself, that she cried out what kind of Serbia we leave to the children if the president’s family is so oppressed. That’s why she joined Danilo’s defense: “It’s my job.”

Despite the melodramatics of Ana Brnabić, who seems to think that the Prime Minister of Serbia should be a babysitter to the adult son of the President of Serbia, no one has surpassed the psychodrama played on television on this topic by Aleksandar Vučić.

Vučić’s parental lament

“My political opponents cannot defeat me with ideas and programs, so they are trying to break me by mentally attacking my family,” Vučić complained on Pink, claiming that a “witch hunt” was being waged against his family.

>> Serbian president under pressure: His son is allegedly connected to the mafia

“I’m just an ordinary dad, maybe not the best in the world. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention and time to them, maybe I didn’t even know how to deal with them … And of course it hurts me,” said Vučić a few days later during a pre-election tour of Požega .

Vučić has been cruising Serbia and its national televisions for days, wondering if he is a good enough father and if he may have neglected Danilo, so he promises little rivers and valleys, fears the evil intentions of the opposition and tries with all his might to encourage as many voters as possible to go to the polls. because although the victory of the SNS is certain, the question is how democratically legitimate it will be.

And so we came to what was supposed to be the key topic of this election, and that is the boycott of the opposition, part of which boycotted in the end and now goes to the polls.

Dario Hajrić: The government managed to reduce the boycott

We turned to Belgrade analyst Dario Hajrić to comment on the current situation in Serbia, and the first question was to explain to us what happened with the boycott.

“The government managed to reduce the boycott primarily by arbitrarily lowering the census from 5% to only 3% on the eve of the elections, which obviously seemed accessible to some, and therefore tempting. The elections are still being boycotted by several major opposition parties and leaders: Djilas’ Freedom and Justice Party, Jeremic’s People’s Party, the Democratic Party, Dveri, and several smaller movements and parties such as the Let’s Not Drown Belgrade initiative. After the break caused by the state of emergency, the Movement of Free Citizens of Sergei Trifunovic and Radulovic gave up on him. It was enough, although both parties were initially in favor of a boycott. It is clear that they did not change their minds because the election conditions suddenly became fairer, but because they hoped that with a lower turnout they could reach the magic 3%. Despite the boycott, the ballot will not be empty: as many as 21 lists will go to the national elections, but the vast majority of these options are the government and its satellites, whose role is literally just to simulate pluralism, “Hajric explains.

Milosevic or Vucic – who is worse?

When comparing the elections in Serbia in the 1990s and these, which were freer, we ask this analyst.

“Milosevic stole the elections several times, and he suffocated democracy not only with propaganda but also with brute force: assassinations of political opponents, murders of journalists, cordons and water cannons. Vučić is not stealing the elections, but is creating a political climate in which their outcome will be clear before they are even called. Compared to Milosevic, he has incomparably greater propaganda capacities. He realized he didn’t have to kill you: all he had to do was publicly shoot tabloid headlines in the back of your head until he destroyed your character, and he used it profusely. He has an army of bots that is in charge of following you, spitting and insulting every word of criticism addressed to the government, whether you are a politician, a journalist or an “ordinary” citizen, “says Hajrić.

He believes that this election campaign is different solely because of the boycott of the opposition: since most of it does not go to the polls, Vučić’s propaganda machinery, as Hajrić says pictorially, is less focused on grinding human flesh, and more on building Potemkin villages and trying to increase turnout. would they gain any legitimacy.

Who will be Vučić’s real opposition after the elections?

The boycott of part of the opposition also means that the real opposition to Vučić could become completely non-institutional, while all members of the Assembly will in one way or another be Vučić’s puppets, which could have far-reaching consequences.

We ask Hajrić what the parliamentary opposition to the SNS in the Assembly will look like.

“It will look extremely problematic, if at all. The Movement of Free Citizens has a chance for the census, whose leader Sergej Trifunović is better known for excesses than for opposition activities. To illustrate, on Monday, unprovoked, he posted a video on Twitter in which he sang a Chetnik song drunk in a pub, and then deleted the video and explained to critics that they lacked a sense of humor, ”he says.

The Enough is Enough movement, which has moved from the former libertarian positions to the right, also has a chance to cross the electoral threshold. Their leader Sasa Radulovic is now inciting citizens against migrants, hooking on Soros and spreading anti-vaccination propaganda.

“Both of them have a much better chance to bring down the Moon from the sky than to bring down Vučić. “Other opposition parties in the elections are actually Trojan horses that the government hopes that uninformed voters will drag them into the parliament, or at least raise the turnout in order to give the appearance of legitimacy to these farcical elections,” Hajrić predicts.

>> Circus in Serbia: Vučić first terrorized citizens and then organized a huge corona party

Opposition leaders have tainted biographies

“An additional problem lies in the fact that the boycott opposition does not excel with the attitudes and tainted biographies of its leaders. It is true that their hands are largely tied, but most of them are obviously waiting for Vučić to fall from power himself instead of explaining to us how they will dismantle his partocratic hydra. If it weren’t for our lives, it would be fun to watch them wonder why they should get the support of voters, ”he says.

When it comes to assessing the election results, Dario Hajrić says that, according to the latest research of the New Serbian Political Thought, there is a possibility that – with the exception of national minority parties – only three lists will pass: SNS, SPS and Šapić’s SPAS, which is a satellite of the Progressives.

The internal political crisis in Serbia will intensify

“Depending on the turnout, there is a possibility that three or four more options will be obtained, but the general impression is that the new parliament will reflect the current political unanimity in Serbia much more faithfully.” For example, the entry of the Radicals or the DSS into the Assembly would not make any essential difference because both of them are in a vassal relationship with the SNS, only some of them would take on the role of playing the opposition “, predicts Hajrić.

The consequence of the boycott will be a truncated legitimacy of the government and further aggravation of the internal political crisis in Serbia, he said.

“When you have so many citizens who do not have their representatives in the assembly, it is an inexhaustible source of instability that is likely to manifest itself in emigration, futile protests and further escalation of social pathologies. But it has never been a problem for this government that the guild is paid by someone else, ”says this analyst.

Rasim Ljajic jumped spectacularly from the stage

The Serbian campaign did not lack unexpected, funny moments, of which the most spectacular was the jump from the stage of Sandzak leader Rasim Ljajic, otherwise a minister in the government of Ana Brnabic.

>> VIDEO Crazy campaign in Serbia, the minister threw himself into the audience at the rally

By the way, Ljajić is the president of the Social Democratic Party of Serbia and the founder of the Sandžak Democratic Party, and carried away by the atmosphere at the pre-election rally in Novi Pazar, he threw himself off the stage like a rock star. After the “stage dive” he ended up in the arms of his supporters who lifted and lowered him while he held his arms held high.

Vučić met a humanoid robot, which he started licking

Vučić himself took care of the laughter when he met the robot. The President visited the exhibition space of the Center for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Education at the Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Belgrade. In doing so, they introduced him to Emma, ​​a humanoid robot. Vučić decided to talk to the robot, who proved to be a real swindler and populist.

Vučić was interested in why Emma came to Serbia.

“I love Serbia. Given that I am a form of smart technology, it is obvious that I choose to be in Serbia. Not only because of exceptional people, rich tradition and nature, but because it is a country that has a bright future ahead of it. Because of exceptional minds of this country, I came to improve the education of children in Serbia with the help of modern educational technologies from China for language learning and the study of scientific disciplines, “said Emma, ​​while Vučić smiled contentedly.

“The robotics center where I work will provide children in Serbia with the best education to the pride of every parent, and Serbia will become one of the most advanced countries in the world, just as it should be,” Emma concluded, and even Vucic couldn’t help but laugh on it.

The pandemic continues

There is no reason to laugh when you pay attention to the state of coronavirus panemia in Serbia, which the government suddenly completely ignores, even though the number of infected people has never dropped to a satisfactory level.

According to the latest data, Serbia has more than 90 newly infected with coronavirus for the fourth day in a row, and 94 new cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, one more than yesterday. Another person died in that country.

In the last 24 hours, 4211 people were tested, and 18 patients were on a respirator.

In other words, the question is whether Serbia came out of the first pandemic government at all, despite Vučić’s draconian measures until recently. Despite everything, the elections are being held, which is why Serbia and Croatia are going down in history as the only two European countries that are holding parliamentary elections in a pandemic.

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