Only three weeks have remained until general elections in Serbia. Those who did not intend to turn out have not been persuaded into changing their mind by the election campaign. Others claim they will vote for their candidates not because they believe that the future will be better with them, but because all the others are worse. More by Mirjana Nikolić.
Ever since the presidential elections were scheduled – for the same day as the parliamentary and local ones, the focus of the campaign has been transferred to the activities of the presidential candidates. There will be ten of them eventually. The majority have already displayed their slogans, which the experienced press regards as devoid of ideas and unrecognizable. Boris Tadić has continued the campaign of his party, the Democratic Party, which pinpoints jobs, security and investments as their main goals, but those are the objectives emphasized by all the other parties running for the elections. The slogan of the Serbian Progressive Party and its leader, Tomislav Nikolić, is For an Honest and Successful Serbia. The leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, stresses that, while others keep opening factories, his task is not to open, but to shut down, thus announcing the arrests of criminals and hooligans and also a firmer stand to the world, with the slogan Firmly, Clearly, Resolutely. The leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Čedomir Jovanović, appeals to Tadić and Nikolić that they should tell people the truth, but it remains unclear whether he means the truth about Kosovo, the truth about the slow journey towards Europe or something else. The slogan of the Democratic Party of Serbia and its leader, Vojislav Koštunica, resembles a Serbian beer commercial and reads: Serbia – You Know Why. Koštunica, at least, stands out among all the other candidates, being against Serbia’s EU aspirations.
If a foreigner were to analyze the election campaign, they could get an impression that Serbia is an agricultural country, the major problem of which is the choice of seed for the next sowing, or that it is a country with a very strong industry, with foreign investors rushing in. The absence of the Kosovo topic in this campaign is conspicuous – except for the mantra that we will never recognize its independence. This time, both the parties and the presidential candidates keep ignoring the fact that this part of the Serbian territory has declared independence, that there are numerous problems in that province and that the state of Serbia will not be able to organize elections there.
Considering all this, it is interesting to look at the current rating of the candidates and their political options. Croatian agency Ipsos claims that, in the first round, Tadić would poll 31.6% of the votes and Tomislav Nikolić 29.7%. Agency Partner Consulting claims that Nikolić would poll 30% and Tadić 26.5% in the first round. According to the polls, Dačić is at the third position, with more than 12%, followed by Koštunica with 9%. A similar situation applies to the parties, so, in addition to the aforesaid, LDP, the Serbian Radical Party and the United Regions of Serbia will enter the parliament. All the agencies allow for a slight error of 2%-3%. After the elections, Serbia will resume the course towards the EU as it is part of the programme of any majority that may form the government. Analysts also agree that not a single new option that could cross the census of 5% and surprise us by entering the parliament has appeared during this election campaign.