Serbia’s MPs: Business as usual # 2: Attacks on opponents instead debate on law

NEWS 03.11.2021 14:21
Source: Tanjug/Jadranka Ilić

The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) MPs continued on Wednesday to attack opposition politicians for the second day in a row, instead of seriously debating the amendments of the Law on Ombudsman, with only a few references to the topic.

They joined former Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic, who was also an independent candidate in the presidential elections in 2017, which he lost to the current head of state Aleksandar Vucic, to their favourite target, Dragan Djilas, former Belgrade Mayor and the leader of the opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP).

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The MPs did not forget another ‘pray’ from Tuesday’s debate, retired general Zdravko Ponos, a leader of the opposition People’s Party, who media reported as a potential Vucic’s challenger in the 2022 elections.

The head of the SNS MPs Club, Aleksandar Martinovic, recalled that Jankovic avoided coming to the Parliament, sent his deputy, and dealt with Vucic’s news conferences
in his reports.
He then turned to Ponos, former Army of Serbia (VS) chief-of-staff, saying, „we had a man who did not line up a platoon in his life, let alone a company, and only thanks to the fact that he was promoted by former President Boris Tadic, he received several ranks in one year. He had no idea about the army. He destroyed our army; they were almost dwarfs until Aleksandar Vucic became a minister in 2012. I think he was the worst chief of staff in recent military history,“ Martinovic said.

His fellow MP Marko Atlagic reiterated a series of accusations against Djilas, describing him as „the hater of Serbia, of the SNS and the President,“ and a man who „not recognise Kosovo as part of Serbia“, adding that „Djilas’ character does not look normal to him“.

An SNS coalition partner, the leader of the United Serbia party, Dragan Markovic Palma, accused Djilas of beating his wife and father-in-law and said the current Ombudsman „does not protect the Vucic family.“

An SNS MP Ugljesa Mrdic, continued where he stopped on Tuesday, adding that films and series would be made about Djilas, the head of the People’s and former Foreign Minister and the President of the UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, „a corrupted diplomat,“ Ponos „who destroyed the VS and Jankovic who was targeted in an affair about his friend’s death.

Mrdic again described Djilas as the worst Belgrade Mayor ever and the mentor of all others.

„None of them wishes good to Serbia’s people,“ Mrdic claimed.

The MPs cannot be legally held responsible for what they say in the Parliament, but Djilas has sued tabloids for reporting the same accusations and has won every case. He donated the compensation money ordered by the courts to humanitarian organisations.

None of the accusations against him has ever been proved, but he remains the most targeted individual in Serbia since the SNS and Vucic came to power in 2012.

As a member of the Democratic Party (DS), Djials beat Vucic twice in the Belgarde elections in 2008 and 2012.

Earlier, Vucic lost to another DS leader Nenad Bogdanovic in the only direct election for the Belgarde mayor.

According to the current law, a mayor is elected in the city Assembly.

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