On 5 October 2000 the regime of Slobodan Milosevic was toppled amid popular protests, but the past 20 years have been anything but simple in Serbia.
October 5, 2000, is a Serbian metaphor for a dream of democracy. Like many dreams, it encouraged and mobilized those who shared it, while it was unrealistic about the scope and pace of changes after the defeat of Milosevic’s regime and naïve about the ways to move from traumatic experiences into a future free from fear.
Today, 20 years ago, hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in Belgrade and assaulted the parliament asking for the resignation of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, who was accused of electoral fraud. The day after, he recognized the defeat in the presidential elections. Since then, Serbia underwent a democratic transition – a process that was never completed.
Last month, a member of a news crew tried to film the building of a company whose alleged involvement in corrupt activities was being investigated. He was told by a security guard to move away, and was warned that he might be “shot like a rabbit.” This incident vividly depicts the extent to which the journalism profession has been degraded in Serbian society.
Before the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power in 2000, elections were neither free nor fair and were fraught with irregularities, threats, and abuses, with the fraudulent local elections of 1996 leading to 78 days of student demonstrations. Political change was not the result of a vote for the Serbian parliament: it took a parliamentary and presidential election for the Yugoslav Federation as it existed then, which was held on 24 September 2000, to start the process.
In Serbia scoppiano proteste e scontri dopo l’annuncio del presidente Vucic di nuove misure contro la pandemia, che torna a preoccupare. Ma i cittadini accusano il governo di aver mentito sui dati per andare alle elezioni.
Era tutto pronto. I presidenti di Serbia e Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic e Hashim Thaci, erano attesi sabato 27 giugno alla Casa Bianca per rilanciare il dialogo, a guida statunitense, dopo uno stop lungo oltre un anno e mezzo, in cui la mediazione dell’Unione Europea aveva portato a pochi risultati. E invece nel pomeriggio di mercoledì 24 giugno è arrivata la notizia che rimette in discussione tutto.
“La Serbia non è più una democrazia”. Sarà questo il dato più importante che suggellerà il voto con cui si rinnova il parlamento di Belgrado domenica 21 giugno.
In May 2019, Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Chinese Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi signed a three-point memorandum of understanding in the field of security. Two of the agreed initiatives came into effect in September: joint police patrols and the installation of cameras with facial recognition technology. Together with Serbian colleagues, an undefined number of Chinese police officers will be deployed in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Smederevo.