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Snap parliamentary elections - a test of (anti) European course of Serbia


By his dramatic public address on the 8th of March, Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica announced the collapse of his government and scheduling of the snap parliamentary elections. That move of his - which resulted in the decision of President of Serbia, Boris Tadic to set the date for the parliamentary elections-the 11th of May- was received as a surprise move. Most surprised was Democratic Party which had been apparently trying to keep the new date of general elections as far as possible from the 17th of February, the day of Kosovo's declaration of independence.

On the other hand by its proclamation that the "government was no longer fully functional" the Democratic Party of Serbia, made clear its assessment that it by calling an early elections it intended to capitalize on the national frustration over the loss of Kosovo by getting as many MP seats as possible.

One also gets the impression that the hasty calling of snap republican elections was in fact the "Plan B" of the anti-European camp. Namely, due to the unpredicted and unplanned defeat of Tomislav Nikolic in recent presidential elections, the anti-European, conservative and national camp opted for the early parliamentary elections in order to gain the parliamentary and government majority, whose linchpin would be the Serb Radical Party and Democratic Party of Serbia.

Division into the two camps, with clear-cut profiles, that is, into the pro-European and anti-European camp, is conspicuous in these early days of pre-election activities of all the political prime movers. And that division is most likely to mark the two-month long pre-election campaign.


Cedomir Jovanovic, President of the Liberal Democratic Party:

"Relations between the LDP and Democratic Party should not burden a civil, pro-European, political scene of Serbia. Boris Tadic and I must muster all the strength to provide answers to the situation which is not so much complicated, as it is burdened by some personal differences.It is still early to talk about coalition-forming possibilities, but it bears saying that the LDP has never been adverse to any agreement which has clear objectives .plus it shall be impossible to form any pro-EU government without the LDP."

(Danas, 10 March 2008)


Boris Tadic, predsednik Srbije:

"I wish that the Democratic Party of Serbia, the LDP, the Serb Radical Party and the Socialist Party of Serbia changed some of their wrong political positions, and consequently make it possible for us to reach a national consensus on the pathway to Europe ..."

(program Utisak nedelje, TV B92, 9 March 2008)


Andreja Mladenovic, DPS spokesman:

"Our lack of trust (in Tadic) concerns the basic principles of Kosovo and the EU policies. That mistrust in the forthcoming period shall become more pronounced. Boris Tadic's statement to the effect that he intended to make a coalition with parties headed by Nenad Canak and Mladjan Dinkic proved that we were right to mistrust him."

(Politika, 11 March 2008)


Aleksandar Vucic, the Serb Radical Party:

"This time around we are ready to discuss with our coalition partners the possibility of forming a joint government." Vucic stated in his interview to TV B92 program Poligraf, and he even did not preclude the possibility of his party forming a government with the Democratic Party of Serbia in the post-election period.

(Politika, according to Fonet, 12 March 2008)


Velimir Ilic, President of Nova Srbija (on possible pre-election coalitions):

"We surely don't want to join forces with Canak who espouses the concept - Vojvodina Republic. We neither want a coalition with that scumbag Cedomir Jovanovic. We Any new coalition with G 17 plus is out of question - they have deceived us two times.We shall form a government with those partners guaranteeing us that the Constitution shall not be violated, that they are against independent Kosovo, that they are against Serbia-without-Kosovo accession to the EU. By and large we must trust our coalition partners. That said, Koštunica and I no longer trust Tadic... His story that Europe is our only alternative no longer holds water.And as regards Nikolic (Tomislav) we have nearly identical ideas about Kosovo".

( Vecernje novosti, 13 March 2008)


Slobodan Antonic, analyst (by-lined the text "Regretting the fall of government"):

(...) as long as the last government existed, it was clear that a definite split of Serbia into two was avoidable....and that co-operation, dialogue and tolerance between "the two Serbias" were feasible, desirable and attainable...(...) We don't know if that govenrment, had it lasted, would have been able to make the gap or rift between the "pro-EU or pro-reform" and "national" Serbia more tolerable. But as the things stand now, the sharp differences over the Kosovo crisis have become manifest, the government collapsed, and the whole society began splitting in two.... And that split shall swiftly become evident in the campaign (...) and that gap shall be soon evident in institutions, in the media, in daily life...notably if the next government is exclusively formed by the parties situated on the one side of the divide. But that is precisely the most likely development. For both the pro-EU reformers and "nationalists" have the ambition to form a government exclusively composed of the like-minded parties. And I sincerely think that due to those divisions Serbia shall not be able to do any serious job. 17th of February is the reason for all the things that befell us, and shall continue to condition our future developments. To put it simply, by unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo Serbia was plunged into chaos..."

(Politika, 13 March 2008)


Tomislav Nikolic, Vice President of the Serb Radical Party:

"The Serb Radical Party shall for the third time, after the next paraliamentary elections, and if it is necessary, offer to the Democratic Party of Serbia and its leader Vojislav Koštunica to jointly form a government (...) Democratic Party of Serbia cannot win more votes then the Serb Radical Party. I am not a calculating politician. In any government the Prime Minister should come from the ranks of the party which has won the most votes."

( Politika, 14 March 2008)



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