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Tatjana Rackov Sinadinović, Director, Happy Kids Preschool

Awards Confirm Value

Within a framework of daily educational activities that’s shaped by the principles of the Montessori method of education, children at the HAPPY KIDS Preschool...

Helleniq Energy

Former Hellenic Petroleum Becomes Helleniq Energy

The parent company of EKO Serbia has rebranded and committed itself to a sustainable future HELLENIC PETROLEUM, one of the largest energy companies in Southeast...

dm

dm Srbija Comes Of Age

Pioneering endeavours, successful results, record-breaking donations and recordhigh wage increases, new social responsibility campaigns and launching the online store have all marked the 18th...

Sonja Kapetanović, Marketing Director, Schlarafia

Quality Is An Issue Of Setting High Standards

Schlarafia is the region’s leading brand for premium sleeping equipment and is unique thanks to its specific fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern technologies,...

Boban Đurović, Mayor Of Vrnjačka Banja

Monte Carlo In The Heart Of Serbia

Today, Vrnjačka Banja can boast a large number of high-class hotels that, with their rich content and top-quality service in line with European tourist...

Zoran Sekulić, Director And Editor-in-chief Of News Agency Fonet

More Dissatisfaction, But Without Political Articulation

Last year saw an increase in the number of so-called negative points, I.E. increased public dissatisfaction towards the authorities and the way the government managed the crisis, primarily among that part of the electorate that traditionally doesn’t vote for the parties in government. However, the opposition failed to take advantage of the situation and hasn’t increased its influence significantly

The pandemic had very serious health consequences last year, even tragic ones, but it also had serious social and political consequences. When it comes to the political scene, what I mean is that the government didn’t score major points or gain a high rating during the course of last year, although I doubt it has been weakened significantly. That part of the electorate, on the one hand, is very disciplined politically, while on the other hand it is connected in terms of interests. What I think happened last year is that there was an increase in the number of so-called negative points, or that there was an increase in overall public dissatisfaction towards the authorities and the way the government managed the crisis. Here I’m primarily thinking of that part of the electorate that traditionally doesn’t vote for the parties in government. However, a problem arose because the opposition failed to take advantage of the situation and hasn’t increased its influence significantly.

I will also remind you of the reasons why the government didn’t gain any additional points and why the number of negative points increased. This is firstly because it treated the pandemic and the virus with contempt at the beginning of the crisis. Then it abruptly shifted to the most drastic measures of blocking the public and virtually imprisoning those aged over 65, only to abruptly relax all those measures just before the elections, so we saw a sudden spread of infection and an explosion of the pandemic in the second half of the year. This certainly isn’t seen as a positive attitude and behaviour of the authorities by either the population aged over 65, medical staff, doctors, educators or the families of people who died during the pandemic, and I believe that will be a reservoir of negative energy that could emerge in some subsequent elections.

The government attempted to make up for this by building hospitals and procuring respirators, but it seems to me that it has entered this year resolved, considering the upcoming dialogue between the government and the opposition, in order to prepare for the elections very seriously and thoroughly. For now they’ve been formally announced for the spring of next year, but my assessment is that I wouldn’t be surprised if parliamentary elections were held by the end of this year, with presidential and Belgrade elections left for the spring of next year. Why? Because the EU insists on the separating of elections. On the other hand, it potentially suits the government to separate these elections because the opposition is confused, because the opposition cannot reach agreement on participation in the elections – it can’t even agree on the kind of pre-election conditions it is seeking in that dialogue. In the platforms that have emerged to date, two of the three demands are completely unrealistic. The demand to separate elections is realistic and the government could use it for itself. Pre-election promises that have emerged – that there will be compensation for minimum earnings, that there will be another one-off payment for the entire population, that construction of a metro rail system and other major infrastructure works will be launched – tell me that the government has actually already embarked on a serious campaign, despite there not formally being a campaign.

All told, this will unfold in parallel with the uncertain further course of the crisis, which will also be influenced by the whole situation with the procurement of vaccines. If the government succeeds in its intention to vaccinate 70-80% of the population this year, that will be a great pre-election trump card, given the fact that the health, medical consequences and ramifications of all of that will mean the overcoming of the pandemic. Finally, if it conquers the pandemic, the government will be able to head towards parliamentary elections with a sense of complete freedom and comfort. How the opposition will respond to that is completely unclear at present.

The fact is that a serious part of the country’s electorate is dissatisfied. That section of the electorate now has no institutional framework in which it can articulate its dissatisfaction. Vučić is aware of that; he is aware that a parliament with 250 MPs who are all in power has no legitimacy. And if he does decide to go to the polls, he will give his all to ensure that a minimum of 15% of that new parliament is held by some opposition figures – but not just any members of the opposition, rather those that he would be able to control.

Comment by Zoran Panovic

Limited Sensitivity

If Serbia’s World Cup match against Brazil in Qatar proved to be a major tactical defeat for Serbia (0:2), then the agreement reached on...

Aleksandar Mitić, Research Associate At The Institute Of International Politics And Economics, President Of The Centre For Strategic Alternatives

Support For Ukraine Could Reduce

It is tough to expect that the deep polarisation that has manifested within U.S. Society will have a substantial influence on Washinton’s foreign policy...

Aleksandar R. Miletić, Executive Director Of The Centre For History Studies And Dialogue

No Major Changes To Foreign Policy Discourse

I don’t believe the current U.S. Administration’s policies on Ukraine or our region will change fundamentally. More significant course adjustments could only occur following...

Dragan Bisenić, Foreign Policy Journalist, Publicist And Former Ambassador

Without A Weak President

No one will deal with a “weak” american president on foreign policy in the future, as was expected prior to the midterm elections. However,...

Várhelyi Presented Implementation Of Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, started his visit to Belgrade at the Serbian company Elektromreže...

Slivovica Included In The UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Serbia announced that the element of the intangible cultural heritage of...

Escobar: Open Balkan The Opportunity For Region To Recover

"Russia will not be a credible partner, so it is economically and politically wrong to count on cooperation with...

Foreign Investors Council In Serbia Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

The Foreign Investors Council in Serbia (FIC) marked 20 years of operations with a ceremony held at Hyatt hotel. At...

Romania’s National Day Celebrated

The Embassy of Romania in Serbia marked the Day of Romanian Unification with a formal reception at the White...

Várhelyi Presented Implementation Of Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, started his visit to Belgrade at the Serbian company Elektromreže...

Slivovica Included In The UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Serbia announced that the element of the intangible cultural heritage of...

Escobar: Open Balkan The Opportunity For Region To Recover

"Russia will not be a credible partner, so it is economically and politically wrong to count on cooperation with...

Foreign Investors Council In Serbia Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

The Foreign Investors Council in Serbia (FIC) marked 20 years of operations with a ceremony held at Hyatt hotel. At...

Romania’s National Day Celebrated

The Embassy of Romania in Serbia marked the Day of Romanian Unification with a formal reception at the White...

Várhelyi Presented Implementation Of Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, started his visit to Belgrade at the Serbian company Elektromreže...

Slivovica Included In The UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Serbia announced that the element of the intangible cultural heritage of...

Escobar: Open Balkan The Opportunity For Region To Recover

"Russia will not be a credible partner, so it is economically and politically wrong to count on cooperation with...

Foreign Investors Council In Serbia Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

The Foreign Investors Council in Serbia (FIC) marked 20 years of operations with a ceremony held at Hyatt hotel. At...

Romania’s National Day Celebrated

The Embassy of Romania in Serbia marked the Day of Romanian Unification with a formal reception at the White...
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