Ruling SNS "threat to democracy, rights, Constitution"

BELGRADE -- Borislav Stefanovic says the ruling SNS party's "thoughts about a counter-rally" and dismissing of Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic "pose a threat to democracy."

Borislav Stefanovic (Tanjug, file)
Borislav Stefanovic (Tanjug, file)

It also threatens "citizens' rights and the Constitution," the head of the group of the opposition Democratic Party (DS) told reporters in parliament on Friday.

"The Progressives just cannot understand that reasoned critique of the government and of the top of the regime is not an attack on the country," Stefanovic observed.

"The state is not equal to Aleksandar Vucic. It is normal for the opposition and NGOs to point out to irregularities and criticize things that are objectively wrong and not in accordance with the law and give their suggestions on how to solve a particular problem," he added.

This opposition politician also stated that because the SNS "has no answer to any of Serbia's problems," they "resort to the old Radicals' rhetoric and the attitude , 'let's say they secretly organized to attack me (Vucic), Dikovic, the VBA, Gasic and others, because we are the state'."

According to Stefanovic, it is "incomprehensible and unacceptable for the prime minister to say he does not know the details of the case around the accusations against the Chief of Staff Dikovic, but that he knows it was an attack on the state."

"In the absence of any results, in the absence of the results of the devastating austerity measures, in the absence of the results of economic reforms, in the absence of employment, investments, in the absence of freedom, of press freedom, they (the SNS) resort to recipes from the 1990s and to organizing counter-rallies," said the vice president of the Democratic Party.

Stefanovicsaid he hoped the initiative coming from some SNS members to organize a rally of support to Vucic, and at the same time demand the resignation of Jankovic will not be accepted - "because it is pointless, harmful and dangerous."

Opposition New Party leader and MP Zoran Zivkovic commented on the same topic to say that the SNS "has the right to organize a rally of support to Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic - although it is strange that a party that claims to have a majority does that."

Instead, Zivkovic suggested, a rally should be organized by the opposition, "and on March 12."

Aleksandar Vucic also addressed the subject on Friday to say that while he "understands the calls from the SNS for rallies" he nevertheless believes that "it is time for work, not for gatherings."