Vucic’s 4 pillars of power

NEWS 20.05.202412:53 0 komentara
Aleksandar Vučić (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

The portal said on Monday that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic rules using four pillars of power: a firm hand in his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), thugs, controlled media and institutions that turn a blind eye in favor of his friends.

The portal said that Vucic and his SNS want to keep those four pillars intact, fearing that the balance of power would be upset if one or more should fall.

Opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) leader Dragand Djilas is quoted as saying that Serbia is in the hands of a criminal group made of four pillars of power – political, militant, institutional and media headed by Vucic. He said that the political pillar is the SNS, organized crime bosses are the militants, prosecutors, police the BIA security services agency, judiciary, tax authority and everyone else protecting the regime loyalists are the institutional pillar and the media pillar consists of tabloids, portals and TV stations with national coverage which, he said, are lying to the public, glorifying the president and ruining anyone who voices an opinion. “That organized crime group is headed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic,” Djilas is quoted as saying. said that there might be some more support pillars but that the classification of 4 pillars could raise key issues about the power base used by the authorities to topple democracy and strengthen authoritarian tendencies.

It said that the main pillars are the strong, cartel-like party and its links to institutions as well as regime-controlled media. “For them, only one side is part of the system while the other (the opposition) is an intruder and undesirable element that has to be attacked every day,” it said.

The portal said that the SNS has some 700,000 members and that it operates using pressure to induce obedience. “The pressure mainly comes through a centralized, hierarchy system using positions of power to meet party needs and goals,” it said and added that instructions usually come from top party officials and are passed on to public sector management, company owners and individuals in high-ranking posts. It said that individuals who used to be party officials as well as public sector employees testified to this.

It recalled a statement to by a female staff member at the Old Age Center in the northern city of Subotica who said she refused an invitation to attend an SNS gathering in Belgrade and was given a much bigger workload by her CEO as punishment. Others said they were ordered to campaign door-to-door or on social media networks for the SNS or get fired.

According to the portal, the worst of the pressure comes during election campaigns or prior to visits by foreign dignitaries.

Private individuals, activists and opposition politicians said on several occasions that public sector employees were being forced to attend party gatherings. There were cases of public sector managers giving their staff days off for those events.

The CRTA democracy watchdog published reports of pressure even on cancer patients.

A photographer took pictures of a known underworld figure at an SNS gathering before last December’s elections. The photographer recorded Aleksandar Vidojevic, aka Aca Rosavi, a known associate of indicted organized crime boss Veljko Belivuk, in the company of Serbian government General Secretary Novak Nedic. Earlier, Nedic was seen leading a group of young men dressed in the black that is customary for local hooligans at a floating bar in the city of Pancevo. Those young men were alleged to be security guards at an SNS gathering. recalled an assault on at least four reporters and photographers by alleged hooligans and criminals providing security at President Vucic’s 2017 inauguration.

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