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Milan Marković, General Manager, Smurfit Kappa Belgrade

Returning Treated Water to the Danube

Here Milan Marković, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Belgrade, shares his insights about the company’s legacy and innovative strides in environmental protection Founded in 1921...

Bogdan Gavrilović, Managing Director, WTO Serbia

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Vesna Jovanović, Director, EurologSystem

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Branko Milikić, Business Development Director at Halcom Serbia

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Dragana Ašić Ratkovac, Business Manager Consulting & Tax Advisor at Unija Consulting d.o.o. Beograd

Our View of the Tax World and What’s Important

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Bojan Vranić, Associate Professor, Faculty Of Political Sciences, University Of Belgrade

The Myth Of A Neutral Leader

It would be difficult for the opposition to justify the idea of a neutral leader as an engine of mobilising voters who’ve abstained for a decade and to generate the trust necessary to ensure that such a strategy will succeed this time

While the centre-left orientated opposition defines its strategy for the forthcoming elections, political analysts are bombarding voters with ideas and figures on how to weaken the ruling SNS party. The latest idea is that the opposition needs to find a single, neutral candidate, who is sufficiently pliable to absorb diverse inputs from both left and right opposition parties. In other words, the opposition needs “Koštunica 2.0”.

The strategy of a unified neutral leader is doomed to failure. A neutral leader is a myth. The DOS campaign presented Kоštunica as a neutral leader, having a second level camp with civic guerrilla on the streets promoting simple ideas such as “Gotov je” (He’s done). In the aftermath of the 2000 presidential elections, Vojislav Koštunica proved to be everything but a neutral leader, ultimately creating an atmosphere of cohabitation within DOS. Expressed differently, the campaign was successful in bringing down Slobodan Milošević, but failed over the long run. For two decades, SPS, SNS and their political satellites have perpetually demoted the values and relativised the achievements of bringing down an authoritarian, warmongering regime.

Burdened with the legacy of 5th october, the opposition cannot hope to defeat president Vučić head-on in the 2022 elections. The aim of the opposition should be to increase the turnout and bring SNS to below 126 mps, thus forcing them to enter into a coalition

The grim image that’s often promoted in mainstream media forced the opposition to distance itself from the legacy of 5th October. In such an atmosphere of discourse, it would be difficult for the opposition to justify the idea of a neutral leader as an engine of mobilising voters who’ve abstained for a decade and generating the necessary trust to ensure that such a strategy will succeed this time. The scenario forces the opposition to fight on two fronts: one to clear the name of 5th October; the other to mobilise voters.

Increasing the turnout is the only way to contest the legitimacy of SNS-centric populism. Populism is a successful strategy only for as long as the image of their leader enjoying the support of the majority of the (true) people can be maintained. Defeating a populist leader is like defeating Hannibal: a full-frontal assault results in major defeat, while small and calculated skirmishes yield a result over the long term. Burdened with the legacy of 5th October, the opposition cannot hope to defeat President Vučić head-on in the 2022 elections. The aim of the opposition should be to increase the turnout and bring SNS to below 126 MPs, thus forcing them to enter into a coalition. Once the crack appears in the image of majority support for SNS, it can only spread, creating space for new non-populist parties to take centre stage on the Serbian political landscape.

Comment by Zoran Panovic

Growth Plan

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German Voters Dominate, Malta Least Represented in Upcoming European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections draw near, set to take place from 6 to 9 June, Eurostat has...

Regional Creative Network Established in Belgrade

In an initiative led by the National Platform "Serbia Creates" and the Ložionica Center, the first gathering of creative...

Chile to Install World’s Largest Astronomy Camera 

Chile is set to install the world's largest astronomy camera atop Cerro Pachón in the Coquimbo region, on the...

Montenegro Earns €17 Million from Toll Roads in Two Years

Montenegro has generated €17 million in toll revenue from the Bar-Boljare-Smokovac-Mateševo motorway in two years Since the opening of the...

John Lennon’s Acoustic Guitar Sells for Over $2.8 Million

An acoustic guitar once played by John Lennon at the height of The Beatles' fame has sold at auction...
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