Analyst "would be surprised" if Serbia avoids early vote

BELGRADE -- Political analyst Đorđe Vukadinović says that he would be surprised if early parliamentary elections were not held in Serbia by the end of this year.

Đorđe Vukadinović (FoNet, file)
Đorđe Vukadinović (FoNet, file)

"I am saying this considering the current situation in the country - but Serbia is a land of wonders and anything's possible," he told B92 on Monday in Belgrade.

Vukadinović noted that while the opposition "always pushed forward the story about elections", opinion polls indicated that there was "great disappointment and resignation among Serbians due to the political goings-on":

"The political messages are mostly very much alike regardless of who's sending them, and that's best seen after elections when parties conduct the same policy, so the citizens realize that elections, in fact, solve nothing."

Nevertheless, come campaign time, voters "still mobilize in great numbers to turn out and vote regardless of the disappointment".

Vukadinović also sees a "saturation effect", not only because the same politicians have been present for years and decades, but also because "the new ones do not differ much from the old ones". But dissatisfaction with politicians and the political scene is present as a trend everywhere else in Europe as well, he observed.

Asked whether there was room yet for new parties - such as the one likely to be formed by former top officials of the Democratic Party (DS) Zoran Živković and Dušan Petrović - this analyst said that opinion polls showed that there was "very much room for that".

"From 40 to 55 percent of respondents in surveys say they feel the need for a new party, but that does not mean they would vote for that party. I think it's also possible to repackage old parties, we've seen a new party with old people win in these elections," Vukadinović stated, in reference to the Serb Progressives (SNS), and added:

"I think the packaging is the key. A party of Živković and Petrović could be like old wine put in new barrels, but I think they would not stand a realistic chance in elections."