Thousands of Serbs protest against President Vucic and his ruling party

Thousands of Serbs protested against President Aleksandar Vucic and his ruling Serbian Progressive Party in downtown Belgrade on Saturday, news wires reported. People chanted "Vucic thief" as they marched peacefully through the city centre in the fourth such protest in as many weeks. They demanded media freedoms, an end to attacks on journalists and opposition politicians.

More than 30 parties and organizations, united in an Alliance for Serbia, say Vucic is an autocrat and his party is corrupt, something its leaders vehemently deny. However, in an interview with the pro-government Studio B TV during the protest, Vucic said he was ready to discuss the opposition demands. Vucic earlier suggested he was willing to test his party's popularity in a snap vote, although Vuk Jeremic, a former foreign minister and the head of the small People's Party, part of the alliance, said the opposition would boycott any election. "There will be no legitimate elections in Serbia with the participation of the opposition until after normal conditions for elections and living are created," Jeremic said. According to a poll by the Belgrade-based CESID election watchdog in October, Vucic's SNS enjoys the backing of 53.3% of electorate while other parties are trailing far behind. If the opposition ran as an alliance, rather than individual parties, they could count on around 15% of the vote. Their joint participation in a vote has yet to be agreed and so far they are only united in their animosity to Vucic and his party. The SNS-led ruling coalition has a comfortable majority of 160 deputies in the 250-seat parliament. The next national election is due in 2020.

Similar articles

  • Quint group urges Kosovo and Serbia to resume dialogue

    Quint group urges Kosovo and Serbia to resume dialogue

    Four European countries and the United States urged Kosovo and Serbia on Tuesday to re-launch their dialogue on normalizing ties if they wish to advance their bid for EU membership, news wires reported. "The status quo prevents progress on Kosovo's and Serbia's path toward the European Union (EU) and is simply not sustainable," the so-called Quint group of the US, Italy, France, Germany and Britain said in a joint statement.

    13
  • Borissov, Zaev discuss friendship and cooperation

    Borissov, Zaev discuss friendship and cooperation

    Prime ministers Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia discussed in Skopje Thursday the benefits for their countries stemming from the implementation of the Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation Treaty, the Bulgarian Government's press service reported. Borissov stressed Bulgaria's desire to develop close and friendly relations, corresponding to the two countries' common history and closeness between citizens.

    32
  • France, Serbia discuss European enlargement, Kosovo dispute

    France, Serbia discuss European enlargement, Kosovo dispute

    Serbia needs French support in European integration, as well as engagement to relieve tensions with its unilaterally seceded province of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Belgrade on Monday. Macron arrived in the Serbian capital for a two-day official visit. Yesterday, he held "long, open and sincere" talks with Vucic at the Palace of Serbia. The first visit of a French president since 2001 reflects the open-handed approach of the French state and people to Serbia, Vucic said.

    60