The opposition Alliance for Serbia (SzS) reacted to a recently published article by a member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), Vladimir Kostic, agreeing that it is important to start a proper dialogue between the government and the opposition.
“We understood the article as a public appeal and we respect the fact this is the first time that someone from a state institution sent such a sobering message. We agree with the statement of academic Kostic that 'there are no innocents' but also that' responsibility is primarily in the hands of those in power' ", the SzS said, adding that it was always ready for serious talks on all topics, especially those that would lead to free elections and free media.
Such talks have not taken place so far, even regarding ways to respond to the constitutional, political and economic crisis following the coronavirus pandemic, SzS said.
"We also agree with the statement that the number of votes 'must not be an alibi for all the actions we are witnessing, and especially not for violence' and that this must apply to everyone. We agree that the institutions are devastated and that the government has been personalized, but that it does not release us from the responsibility to talk to political opponents, because the alternative to talks is a civil war, which we are, just as academic Kostic, afraid of,” SzS said.
The political group also agreed with Kostic’s statement that Serbia’s citizens “are left without democratic conditions and trust in institutions, the multi-party political life and their participation in it” and that they expect that “someone come from somewhere and brings an “outcome or a solution," stating that this is why an urgent dialogue between the government and the opposition is necessary.
However, it said that such a dialogue should not only be "pro forma" in order to satisfy someone outside but in order to avoid the scenario which academic Kostic described. "We are not running away from responsibility, but it’s the government’s move now,” it said.