Should the Socialist Party of Serbia decide to join President Aleksandar Vucic’s announced People’s Movement for the State, the Socialists must not allow themselves to lose their own identity, Predrag Markovic, a historian and Socialist party official, said on June 8.
In a statement for BETA, Markovic underlined that the Socialists are Serbia’s oldest political party and, as such, must not let themselves become assimilated into another entity. “There are different kinds of unions. Some are like soup, others like salad. In a soup, all the ingredients blend together, while in a salad, each retains its own flavor. If the movement is like a salad in which the [Socialist Party of Serbia] can maintain its uniqueness, then such a coalition would offer an advantage in the elections,” Markovic explained.
One of the Socialists ten founders and a member of the party’s main committee who asked to remain anonymous told BETA that he is against the party joining Vucic’s People’s Movement, but that the final decision will be made by the party’s governing bodies.
“Merging with a large entity which is currently predominantly Progressive could be disastrous for the [Socialist party]. . . which would lose the only thing it has left – its identity,” the anonymous official stated. According to him, the Socialists’ members and leadership are divided on the issue of entering the Movement, with “a serious number of people against joining Vucic’s movement, although not opposed to a coalition with the Serbian Progressive Party, as has been the case so far.”
Vucic has announced that the formation of the People’s Movement for the State will commence on St. Vitus Day, i.e. June 28. “I’ve envisaged the People’s Movement as something broader than all parties, gathering responsible and serious people who know how important it is for Serbia to move toward the European Union while not undermining our alliances with our friends in the East,” Vucic stated.