HINA: Uncertainties Surrounding Serbia’s April Vote Stronger than Before | Beta Briefing

HINA: Uncertainties Surrounding Serbia’s April Vote Stronger than Before

Source: Beta
Archive / News | 27.12.21 | access_time 17:29

Belgrade (BETAPHOTO/Ana Slovic/)

Ever deeper social divisions ahead of Serbian polls in April could make the outcome of the election more uncertain than before, Craotia’s HINA agency reported on Dec. 27, adding that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, too, had to deal with the unpleasant truth when thousands joined environmental protests against a lithium mine in Serbia, forcing the president to back off and amend two controversial laws to appease the protesters.

Even though the Constitution of Serbia has granted ceremonial rather than executive powers to the president, Vucic has surrounded himself with the walls of absolute power over the years, relying on generous propaganda support by most of the local media community. He’s been acting along the same absolutist lines as a shadow prime minister, forcing his allies to involve him in most of the decision-making, or making decisions alone, HINA was explicit in the report.

Looking back on 2021 in a piece titled “Serbia at the Turn of the Year: Nervous Steps to New Elections,” the agency wrote that the outgoing year had reached a political crescendo during the environmental protests, as the protesters threatened with road blockades across Serbia as soon as in January 2022, unless a moratorium was placed on lithium exploitation and any other ore operations that might threaten the environment.

In terms of a regional strategy, Serbia remained a strong advocate of a Mini-Schengen Initiative, renamed the Open Balkan, which had been supported by North Macedonia and Albania, but the goal is to expand it to the other states of the region that are still on the EU waiting list.

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