Now Online: Serbia Faces the Future: A Conversation with Branislav Radeljić, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, University of East London. Interviewer: Maia Lazar
NEW EASTERN EUROPE: Whose responsibility was it for Boris Tadić’s loss: the weakness of his team or did the election results reflect the current populist attitudes in Serbia?
BRANISLAV RADELJIĆ: Tadić and his people have failed to convince the public that they deserved to stay where they were. Let’s not forget that during the electoral campaign Tadić openly said that he was sorry for not having done more (for example, with regard to the fight against corruption and business tycoons), possibly believing that self-criticism was going to secure him another chance. The delayed but still existing cooperation with the Hague tribunal and consequent Serbia’s EU candidacy, although both of great importance for Serbia’s international reputation, are minor aspects when compared to the worsening living standard in Serbia, growing unemployment, daily corruption and crime. This means that Tadić was more successful outside and for the outward appearance of Serbia, than addressing huge problems at home and this is the main reason why he lost in the elections. Many people who voted for Tomislav Nikolić did not do so because of his program, but they actually wanted to vote against Tadić. With this in mind, we are talking about a very serious defeat: the people of Serbia (who often ignore the difference in responsibilities between the President and the Prime Minister) voted for a former Radical (Nikolić left Vojislav Šešelj’s Serbian Radical Party in 2008) hoping that he is the one who is capable of developing and implementing policies that will improve their everyday life, regardless of the president’s political background.
To read the full interview click here: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/351