Serbia’s opposition leader warns of political crisis spilling over into streets

NEWS 28.01.2021 09:48
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Nova.rs/Filip Krainčanić

Marinika Tepic, a deputy leader of Serbia's opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP), said on Thursday the political crisis would spill over into the streets if fair election conditions were not created.

In an interview with the Belgrade NIN weekly, she added it was necessary to guarantee deadlines and goals in a dialogue mediated by the European Parliament, instead of trusting the promises.

„I am convinced the negotiations (with the government) must result in a positive outcome in terms of providing conditions for going to the polls. We boycotted the last elections, purifying the opposition and unmasking the camaraderie (the regime)… Until the very end, many thought we were bluffing, that the call for a boycott was only temporary, but we proved to be principled and consistent,“ Tepic said.

She stressed that „the time is now for everyone to understand that there is no retreat.“

„The election day should be a solemn day, when everyone goes to the polls happy and vote who they want for, instead of being driven to the polls, forced to vote in public so the party member on duty sees it, to take a photo of a ballot or fearing of losing job next day,“ Tepic said.

She added that: „suppose fair and democratic election conditions are not provided with good will. In that case, if the media, election laws and the rights of citizens to vote freely are not respected, Otherwise, this pressure and the political crisis will be unbearable, and I have no dilemma that it will spill over into the streets,“ Tepic told NIN.

She added that „right now, all responsibility for every broken head, for every young person who will rightfully rebel because they don’t want to be among the 4,000 people who leave our country every month, lies with (Serbia’s President Aleksandar) Vucic.“

Tepic said that for the current regime „staying in power is the only sure way not to end up in prison. That is why they will defend their positions to the last breath.“

She added that „without opening the state Radio Television of Serbia and fulfilling the conditions in terms of supervisory bodies that will monitor the implementation of the agreed election conditions, it is impossible to enter the election game.“

„We cannot trust promises, but only a deal mediated by the European Parliament, with the guaranteed deadlines, goals and the supervision of the agreed,“ Tepic said.