During his June 4 evening sit-down with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and the rest of his inner circle, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reiterated that he is “prepared to die” rather than surrender power without an election, multiple pro-government media have reported.
“I’ll call elections on all levels. I’m fed up with the deceit. I’m even prepared to die – I’m not afraid in the least! Here, I’m waiting for those cowards to come and kill me, but I will never surrender power to them without an election,” Vucic is quoted as saying.
According to said media, Vucic has been invited to the June 8 session of Cabinet, where he will announce a “fateful decision which will determine the future of the country and the people.” Snap elections and changes to the Cabinet have been mentioned as possibilities.
For the past five weeks, protests titled “Serbia Against Violence” have been held throughout the country in response to two mass murders in early May, which claimed the lives of 18 people.
The largest rallies have taken place in Belgrade, where tens of thousands of people have been holding protest marches every Friday or Saturday.
The protesters have demanded the removal of Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic and of Security and Information Agency Chief Aleksandar Vulin, the dismissal of the top management of both the Regulatory Authority of Electronic Media and the RTS public broadcasting service, the abolishment of reality shows and tabloids promoting violence, and the cancellation of national frequency permits for Pink TV and Happy TV.
So far, the only demand that has been met was the resignation of Education Minister Branko Ruzic.
Vucic has repeatedly stated that Pink TV’s reality program has been canceled – despite the fact that it is still being aired – and has insisted that Minister Gasic will not be removed from office.