Anti-Government Protests Continue in Belgrade, Novi Sad

Thousands of people took the streets of Belgrade and Novi Sad for the third day in a row to protest against the government and its leader Aleksandar Vucic.
Belgrade protests. Photo: Beta

Thousands of people gathered in Belgrade and Novi Sad on Wednesday evening to protest against the rule of President-Elect and current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, which they describe as a “dictatorship”.

More protesters are expected to join the demonstrations during the course of the evening.

“We want a normal country, we do not want to live like slaves. This is one great, rich country and as long as it led by criminals, thieves, uneducated and sick people – we will not step back,” Milos Jevtovic, one of the protesters in Belgrade, told BIRN.

It is not clear who the organisers of the protest are but groups of students who took to the streets of the capital and the northern cities of Novi Sad and Subotica issued a list of requests on Wednesday.

They are calling for the immediate resignation of Maja Gojkovic, the Serbian parliamentary speaker who they claim unlawfully prorogued parliament during campaigning ahead of Sunday’s presidential vote.

Other demands include cleaning up the electoral roll that is said to contain the names of more than a million ineligible voters – including deceased Serbs – and implementing measures to ensure the public broadcaster is independent from government and free of political influence.

They are also demanding the removal of the top management at the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media and the State Electoral Commission.

The Students’ Movement of Novi Sad, while supporting the core demands is also asking for socio-economic reforms, such as ending austerity measures.

If those demands are not met, they insist Serbia should hold snap parliamentary elections.

Anti-government rallies, organised via social media, were held on Tuesday evening in more than 15 towns across Serbia. The largest demonstrations took place in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac, with thousands attending.

Demonstrators claim Vucic’s supporters rigged the presidential vote on Sunday.