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Vucic is the president, but more importantly he is the leader of the biggest party at this moment. Of course he runs the show, even when he was just the deputy PM it was the same, and he had even less prerogatives then.

But is it that different from Tadic and the Democratic Party led government 2008-2012? No, it isn't. The leader of the party or the biggest party of the coalition that wins the election will run the show in Serbia, just as before.
Agreed, but that only reaffirms my point, doesn't it? He's the leader (which is btw again violating the constitution, the president of Serbia cannot perform any other public function), and she's a nobody.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Agreed, but that only reaffirms my point, doesn't it? He's the leader (which is btw again violating the constitution, the president of Serbia cannot perform any other public function), and she's a nobody.
I am not sure about that, does the constitution explicitly say that you can't be the leader of a party and the president of the nation at the same time? If so, I am against that strange rule, but would support the enforcement. I guess the interpretations differ? I would change that anyway, together with the obsolete rule of so called 'pre-election silence' that violates the right of speech and is ineffective and impossible to enforce in the age of internet. I would change a lot of things if I could, mainly simplifying them. But the mindset and culture of leaders instead of institutions would be much more difficult to change :)
 

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I am not sure about that, does the constitution explicitly say that you can't be the leader of a party and the president of the nation at the same time?
It doesn't say explicitly you cannot be this you cannot be that, since the list would be endless I guess, however it says one cannot hold another public office (or whatever is "javna funkcija" in English), and a party leader is obviously "javna funkcija". Although I'm far from being a fan of the previous president (Nikolic), he did resign his party position when he became the president.
 

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46772500

Serbia: Thousands march against President Vučić in fifth week of anti-government protests

Protesters say the president has seized control of the media and launched attacks on the opposition and journalists. Marches put more pressure on President Aleksandar Vučić, who is accused of establishing autocratic rule.

The demonstrators marched without incident or overt signs of political affiliation in the centre of the capital, with some chanting “Vučić thief”, or waving placards that said “Enough lies”.

Many blew whistles, a symbol of Serb protests since strongman Slobodan Milošević held power in the 1990s.

Vučić, a hardline nationalist-turned-European, is accused by the opposition and civil society of having established autocratic rule and total control over media, using it to campaign against opponents.

An attack on opposition politician Borko Stefanovic by unknown assailants in November triggered the marches. Opposition umbrella group Alliance for Serbia (SZS) says they were supporters of Mr Vucic - a claim authorities deny.

Most rallied in the capital Belgrade, while smaller numbers demonstrated in the cities of Kragujevac and Novi Sad.

President Vučić, whose ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) holds 160 of the parliament's 250 seats, earlier said he was willing to speak to demonstrators but not to "opposition liars".
Good luck to my Serbian brothers and sisters. This was long overdue, and hopefuly it will fire up opposition dynamics in several Balkan countries which are ruled by authoritarian leaders.
 

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I can only admire them, they gather and march in freezing, snowy conditions, and try to make sure their voices are heard.









 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
Happy season holidays!

Walk is good to trim your waistline after holiday meals, and for your general health, and also, to voice anger against politicians is always healthy so yeah I support the event.

Thank you ne znam for the support, it is always ok to support totally peaceful protests like this one, and there is hardly any police in the streets. So I am afraid it s not so dramatic. It is a far cry from the times of Milosevic, although lots of people would like to present the picture of the 90s. We can't live in the same movie forever. Vucic and his party will be gone when he is voted out, that's it.

BTW, I won't even start talking about the colorful characters there are in the opposition. They should organize and animate other people to VOTE. they better do something instead of eternal crying and finger pointing. You would be surprised ne znam. Hats off to all these citizens, though, the real purpose is to show there are lots of people outside parties who are not happy with how the things are going , not to change the government in the streets.
 

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Happy season holidays!

Walk is good to trim your waistline after holiday meals, and for your general health, and also, to voice anger against politicians is always healthy so yeah I support the event.

Thank you ne znam for the support, it is always ok to support totally peaceful protests like this one, and there is hardly any police in the streets. So I am afraid it s not so dramatic. It is a far cry from the times of Milosevic, although lots of people would like to present the picture of the 90s. We can't live in the same movie forever. Vucic and his party will be gone when he is voted out, that's it.

BTW, I won't even start talking about the colorful characters there are in the opposition. They should organize and animate other people to VOTE. they better do something instead of eternal crying and finger pointing. You would be surprised ne znam. Hats off to all these citizens, though, the real purpose is to show there are lots of people outside parties who are not happy with how the things are going , not to change the government in the streets.
Thanks for your input, ssin :) Also, happy Orthodox Christmas, to you and your family!
 

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For those who are not aware of it: 2019 will be the year of groundbreaking changes, with many political institutions coming to an end or just collapsing...
 

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There’s One Country in Europe Where Putin Is a Rock Star

The Russian president’s visit to Serbia was a lovefest—but beyond the odes to Orthodox brotherhood, the two authoritarian leaders are using one another to advance a geopolitical agenda.


There aren’t many places in Europe where a Putin visit would be cause for such euphoria at a moment when most leaders on the continent eye the Russian leader with a mix of suspicion and contempt. “Dear President, I want you to feel good in Serbia,” Vucic said at a press conference soon after Putin’s arrival. “There are a lot of people waiting for you in the streets. All those people … they didn’t come for me. They came for you.”

Tens of thousands of people paraded through central Belgrade during the day, amassing in front of the towering Church of Saint Sava—dedicated to the founder of the Serbian branch of Eastern Orthodoxy—toward the end of the trip, where Putin ceremoniously placed the final three squares, in the color of the Russian flag, on a mosaic for the soon-to-be-completed church, having pledged an additional 5 million euros (about $5.7 million) for the job earlier that day.


For the openly pro-Putin Vucic, the picture is more complicated than it seems. For all his bluster and symbolic overtures toward Putin and Russia, Vucic’s policies are ultimately aimed at the Balkan country’s integration into the European Union—something that gets glossed over every time he and Putin get together.

“Serbian society is traditionally pro-Russian,” the historian Milan Radanovic said. “This makes us very different from the majority of Europe, especially neighboring states, even those who were subject to a much firmer Russian embrace throughout history.” Radanovic explained that although Vucic’s political orientation is toward Western Europe, “it doesn’t suit Vucic and his regime to be presented as a man of the West.”


The country is still nursing the wounds of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that aimed to end Serbia’s brutal clampdown on the Albanian-majority population in Kosovo, its former southern province. Kosovo has since declared independence and is seeking full international recognition with strong support from the United States, NATO, and the EU. It’s tricky, though, because not only was Kosovo part of Serbia for most of the 20th century, but it is also home to the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church and countless medieval monasteries.

This is why Putin has such appeal in Serbia. Russia was a major opponent of the bombing in 1999; since then, it has played a significant role in the curtailing of Kosovo’s full international recognitionRussia was a major opponent of the bombing in 1999; since then, it has played a significant role in the curtailing of Kosovo’s full international recognition, both through diplomatic efforts and Moscow’s veto in the United Nations Security Council, the approval of which would be necessary for Kosovo to become a full member of the international community.
 

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Nobody really cares about that flight, there are buses on the same line and few people use them as I understood.
it is one of your symbolic but needed moves. Greece and Macedonia (well North Macedonia now) did the same with Athens-Skopje flights. Regardless of its air traffic potentials, it had to happen politically. Hoping that the relations improve more bilaterally.
 

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'Flight between Serbia and Kosovo' is like saying 'flight between Lyon and France', a deluded absurdity.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
RE Milosevic, true, but at least at that point there was some opposition (at least it seemed that way), now, no real opposition exists. So voting made sense at the time.

I agree, it's not the 90s fortunately, and at least we have the internet to share actual information as opposed to the deceit perpetrated by mainstream TV.

It's not true that literally all media are controlled by them, but the most popular and most present (on a daily level) TV stations are, there's N1 but N1 is a cable network TV. It's not on national frequency. A lot of older folks who have no cable and no internet (or are even interested in it since they never grew with it) are only going to see what is being shown to them on RTS, Pink and the likes, they have no access to alternatives. Heck, half of my apartment building are long retired senior citizens who fall under that category, they go about their lives not even aware of what's happening, and a lot of them vote for SNS simply because it's presented to them as the best thing ever. Same applies to those on the brink of poverty who if they even have TV access it's just stuff on the nation frequencies.

RE the motley crew, well if it's not 100% certain, then at least it is quite probable those are put in place artificially, to stir things up and make a mess because that's exactly what suits the government. If there are riots then they can accuse the people of trying to overthrow the government by non-democratic means.

If you pay attention how the protests start, there's a smaller crowd of violent protesters throwing stuff at the police who just stands by watching it and blocking it with shields, only to start pushing back and beating unarmed citizens (including women) once the atmosphere heats up. In my own city of Novi Sad, certain individuals threw rocks, trash cans and someone even threw a molotov at the City Hall while the police was watching next to it and did nothing, then a bit later on started beating on regular folks who were peacefully protesting. Disgusting, and it's a pattern seen in both Belgrade and Novi Sad.

A lot of people are certain that those are infiltrators trying to create an atmosphere where the entire protesting crowd is then labeled as an angry mob, which isn't remotely true.

There were also reports of policemen in civil clothes standing on the protesting side only to turn against them when things get out of hand, as well as known criminals being seen in the police ranks.
OK, I said I would comment on this post. I am not going through things which I agree with, just some that I don't agree, or am not quite sure, and I put those parts in bold.

I don't think anyone should ever underestimate any voters. Why do you think that the seniors can't use their own heads even if they watch Pink whole day? I don't think they are less knowledgeable than the youngsters about anything. Actually, I believe the opposite is true. The older folks typically don't need TV or the internet to get a sense of what's going on, because they are more experienced. Just my opinion.

Second, I don't think that the government gains anything with provoking that violence. I Don't buy that, it doesn't make sense to me. If that was true, this regime would have tried that many times before. But it really rarely ever used police force. Remember massive protests? Hardly any police and almost zero violence. I certainly believe that this time the violence was planned by a smaller group among mostly peaceful people. So yes, there were infiltrators 100%. Apparently some far right idiots. And I said who I think was the instigator.

There were also police in civilian clothes in a great number, for sure. Like always. As I said, I don't think this is just a matter between angry people and the bad government. There is a third party.
 

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^not necessarily underestimate, just question their motivations.

I mean, we don't live in a vacuum, all of our decisions are influenced in some way by outside sources. If I genuinely believed that Vucic and SNS were great, would I really oppose them? That's all they hear on national TV, they hear how Serbia is doing great by every possible metric, which simply isn't true.

"Actually, I believe the opposite is true. The older folks typically don't need TV or the internet to get a sense of what's going on "....this makes sense at the surface level, but reality shows otherwise. I've heard countless examples of friends and relatives having grandparents who insist how great SNS is and they are basing that info on what they see on national TV. They are maybe experienced about life situations and would see through deceit if it happened to them first hand, but this is different, because they are being fed nonsense. I'm not trying to say that their votes aren't equally valid as anyone else's, they certainly are, but the mechanisms by which they come to conclusions are questionable.

"Second, I don't think that the government gains anything with provoking that violence. I Don't buy that, it doesn't make sense to me. "

Not directly from violence itself. It's not that they benefit from causing violence as such, but rather that they can use it to fault the ordinary people as if they were trying to over-throw the government by non-democratic means. By causing violence, any idea of discourse and civilized exchange of opinions isn't possible. Even if there was a clear political program with meaningful requests from the protesting side, it's never going to happen as long as the protests are violent. That's why currently that goes in government's favor.

And yeah, some people are going to desperately try to seize the momentum in their favor, such as the extreme right groups which I am equally opposed to. And frankly, if I had to choose, even Vucic and SNS seems like a better choice than that monstrosity.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Mikiriman, I've been waiting for years to see that clear political program with meaningful demands.

But, politicians here generally have no balls and have zero charisma. There is so much wrong with those people that I can write long essays about that. All I can see is they want to be where SNS now is. Why would I spend a second of my valuable time to even think about them? 99% of what they talk about is how Vucic is an evil demon. That is their program.

I can blame Vucic for many things, including having no balls either - because he will not openly say that the Russian services tried to undermine him, for example. I can blame him for absolutely destroying the media scene and avoiding a meaningful dialog with the opposition. I can't blame him for particracy and corruption, which existed before his party.

The opposition has to organize, come up with a positive message and get rid of the toxic elements to deserve my vote again. It has absolutely nothing to do with SNS and Vucic. Whio, btw, in a normal situation, as a center-right party should be my natural option. But because the situation is definitely not normal, I have never voted for them. I choose not to choose in this situation. But NOT because the no-balls, no-idea opposition chose to boycott the election. I was against that decision in principle. I don't want my no vote being counted as any kind of support for them.
 

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^can't really disagree with any of this, as this is pretty much how I view the political scene. And for all my dislike towards SNS I can't really say that I'd give my vote to anyone else. Which is why I also haven't voted.

"Anything else but SNS" is not a viable option in the long run, although many see it like it is.
 
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