Aleksandar Vucic’s Dominance in Serbian Election: A Reflection of His Political Power

In the upcoming Serbian parliamentary elections, Aleksandar Vucic’s influence and name continue to take center stage, despite not running as a candidate himself. While he may no longer be the official leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Vucic has been the dominant figure in Serbian politics for the past ten years. The campaign for the elections revolves around the idea that a vote for the Progressives is a vote for Vucic himself, which has been key to their unbroken winning streak over the past decade.

However, this time around, the SNS faces stiffer competition from a coalition of opposition parties in favor of Serbia’s membership in the European Union. The opposition parties have agreed to fight the elections together under the banner of “Serbia Against Violence,” linking their campaign to the protests that followed two mass shootings in May. They accuse Vucic and the SNS of promoting a culture of rhetorical and physical violence in the country.

Despite the opposition’s efforts, they face an uphill battle to challenge the Progressives’ dominance. The SNS benefits from a well-oiled party machine and a friendly media, which the opposition claims contributes to “state capture” and the unfair use of public resources for party purposes. The allegations of lacking pluralism and media bias are dismissed by Ana Brnabic, a member of the SNS, who asserts that the elections are fair and that the government welcomes them in the spirit of democracy.

The Progressives’ long run in power has been supported by the lack of a credible alternative, as the Democratic Party splintered after losing power in 2012. The opposition coalition, Serbia Against Violence, strives to offer voters a coherent alternative, but their campaign is less slick and well-funded compared to the Progressives’ efforts. While a national victory may be a stretch for the opposition, they believe they can make significant gains in local elections, particularly in Belgrade.

The outcome of the elections will determine whether the united front of the opposition convinces the electorate and poses a real challenge to the Progressives’ dominance. The government argues that stability is necessary for the implementation of their infrastructure projects and improvements to salaries and pensions. The opposition, on the other hand, aims to drum up excitement and offers voters the possibility of change and reforms.

Overall, the Serbian parliamentary elections reflect the immense political power and influence that Aleksandar Vucic holds in the country. The domination of the Serbian Progressive Party and the focus on Vucic as the main figure in Serbian politics highlight the need for a credible alternative and a more balanced political landscape. The outcome of the elections will shape the future direction of Serbia and its relationship with the European Union.