Protest breaks in Serbia: Vucic remains strong on his presidency

A collection of 30 opposition groups staged a large protest in Belgrade against president Aleksander Vucic/ Image: The Independent

Protest in Serbia broke against the continuing Presidency of Aleksander Vucic on Sunday, immediately a day after riots broke outside the state television building. The protestors have taken to the streets to meet their demands of a free and fair election with unlimited press freedom, something that the Serbs closely associate with authoritarianism. The attack on the State Television Building took place almost after 20 decades whereby people demanded that protest organisers be given a chance to present their views and opinions against the current regime. The protests are ongoing since December to rule out Vucic’s Presidency and people are coming out in numbers almost every weekend to make Serbia truly democratic.

On Sunday while President Vucic was making a press statement inside the State Television Building, thousands gathered outside the building putting loudspeakers all around and screaming “resign!”. The police reverted by attacking a small group of people with pepper spray. However, the people seemed determined not to move away from their propaganda and their demands. Borko Stefanovic an opposition activist mentioned to the reporters, “We shall continue the blockade of the Presidency and we will not leave until our demands are met and unless we get firm guarantees that our demands will be met.” Businessmen from across the capital had also joined the protest in order to express their ‘dissatisfaction’ over the fact that there are any independent media houses running currently in the country. Vucic who had reportedly won the 2017 Presidential Elections by exercising absolute dominance on the media houses, law enforcers and courts and using them as pawns to remove the opposition swiftly. The Presidency definitely does not uphold the values of Western freedom but replicates authoritarianism.

However, President Vucic remained calm on the protest showing utmost believe in his charisma and government to maintain law and order in the country. He remarked “I am not afraid” while addressing a new conference. He further added “even if there are five million people on the street, I will not bow down to the opposition’s demands for electoral reforms and media freedom.” President Vucic during his press conference labelled his opposition as ‘fascists, hooligans and thieves’ and meantime assuring its people that no more violence will prevail in the country, for Serbia will remain rooted to its democratic set up.

Vucic has been backed by its strongest ally, Russia as the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the whole situation as the opposition’s attempt to “provoke violence.”

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Arijita Sinha Roy

Arijita Sinha Roy is a former Associate Editor at The Kootneeti.

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