An expert group formed by organisers of #1 in 5 million civil and opposition anti-government protests across Serbia said on Monday there were no conditions for free and fair elections in the country, due to the lack of public communication and inequality in that process, the FoNet news agency reported.
A team member Snjezana Milivojevic said the group drafted a comprehensive and systematic document with six demands and six annexes, three of which related to media and the other three to the electoral system.
The documents request from President Aleksandar Vucic to respect the Constitution which obliges him to reflect the state unity and not to support any election list. The group also demands the resignation of the Minister of Culture and Information and the state secretary in that area, considering them responsible for the deterioration of media freedom.
The requests include the replacement of the Council of Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) for failing to respect the law covering their activities, causing the collapse of the Body’s reputation and inactive implementation of its jurisdiction in supervising the work of the electronic media.
They also demand main changes in news programmes made by two Serbia’s public broadcasters, RTS and RTV, to provide equal access to different opinions about important social problems in their regular news programmes and also an equal treatment of all participants in elections.
Another group member Jovanka Matic said that during election campaigns TVs do not treat equally all the participants and that some officials abuse state positions in promoting their parties’ interests. That, Matic said, violates laws on media, elections, criminal code, the law on the Anti-corruption Agency and many others.
She added that some private TVs praise the regime and attack its opponents, brand them as an enemy of the state and foreign spies, while RTS marginalise the opposition.