Serbian ruling coalition officials announce hunger strike

NEWS 11.04.2019 18:49
Source: Tanjug/Beoinfo

Two senior officials of the Serbian ruling coalition said they would start hunger strikes to protest what they said is the hooliganism of part of the opposition.

The first to announce a hunger strike was Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, leader of the Movement of Socialists. Media reports said that he would start his hunger strike on Friday and added that his example would be followed by ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) MPs.  

Belgrade’s Deputy Mayor Goran Vesic (a senior SNS official)  told N1 that he would also go on hunger strike along with city assembly councillors from the SNS. Vesic was reported by the state-controlled Tanjug agency as having said that he sees no other way to “resist the hooliganism of a part of the opposition who are obstructing construction work in central Belgrade, destroying public property and chasing away investors”. He said he would be joined in the hunger strike by SNS councillors in municipal assemblies.    

The executive director of CeSID, a politics watchdog organization, Bojan Klacar said that the announced hunger strikes are part of the negative campaign waged by the authorities against the opposition and an attempt to reach undecided and potential opposition voters to stop them from coming to the opposition protest in Belgrade on April 13.

“The SNS has obviously decided to combat the protests and the opposition by fiercely criticizing them and trying to connect them to violence,” he told the Beta news agency.

The Serbian Military Union (VSS – an opponent of the defence minister) issued what could be viewed as a sarcastic press release saying it would join Vulin in his hunger strike and adding that it had sent a written request to the parliament speaker to allow VSS members into the parliament building or they would raise tents outside.