Serbia Opposition Snubs Call to Boycott Parliament
Serbian opposition parties rejected the proposal of former Democratic Party Chairman Bojan Pajtic to adopt a “radically different approach” to the political struggle and boycott parliament, as they did during the era of President Slobodan Milosevic.
Democratic Party chairman Dragan Sutanovac said parliament’s exit would be “very bad” because the current political situation is different from Milosevic’s.
“In the 1990s, the Democratic Party was in power in many cities, and there were also independent media that allowed opposition leaders as guests, regardless of the totalitarian regime. Today we have Parliament,” said Sutanovac To the Beta news agency.
He added that Parliament remains the “only place where citizens can see members of the opposition.”
Other opposition parties also downplayed the Pajtic proposal.
Bojan Kostres, the Social-Democratic League of Vojvodina, said BIRN that the struggle for the interests of citizens must be fought in state institutions.
“Leaving the institutions, we give the Progressive Party of Serbia the right to further undermine the situation of civil liberties and civil rights media, because no one would stay to control and highlight what they do,” Kostres said.
He added that those who oppose the regime of President Aleksandar Vucic can work in unison, as not all share the same values, naming those of the right DVERI incompatible with those of his own party.
Srdjan Nogo of Dveri, said BIRN do not see the suggestion of Pajtic be relevant and should send the proposal to his own political party.
“Pajtic has had the opportunity to prove what he was like a politician, so I do not want to comment,” Nogo told BIRN.
He said that his movement was considering various strategies because “all freedoms are oppressed” by President Vucic’s “dictatorship,” but are not planning to leave Parliament.
Djordje Vukadinovic, the group of deputies New Serbia – Serbia movement for salvation, said Pajtic had the opportunity to take his own current proposal when he was the leader of the Democrats.
“At the moment, outside the parliament just adhere to the regime. I understand when such proposals come from inexperienced and bitter protesters, but not to someone like Pajtic,” Vukadinovic told BIRN.
The leader of the movement “Enough is enough,” Sasa Radulovic said that the boycott was exactly what the ruling majority wanted.
“Citizens always hear the voice of the opposition in Parliament. They hear serious and arrogant government critics,” Radulovic told BIRN.
According to “enough is enough,” almost a million people have heard the Radulovic speech and the questions posed to the member at the time, Ana Brnabic, at the meeting where it was confirmed in the office. Pajtic’s proposal “will only prejudice the activity of the opposition”.
“Of course, it is important to work in the field and to visit Serbia, but it is equally important that people can hear the voice of reason from their institutions as much as possible,” Radulovic said.