The opposition keeps hoping that the Montenegrin “river of freedom” is going spill over into Serbia. They are wrong. That river is controlled by Aleksandar Vucic. Or at least its mainstream.
That mainstream, therefore, is closely related to Vucic. Its representatives used to come to Belgrade regularly, Serbia has publicly used millions of euros to fund their activities, and it would be naive to hope that secretly they didn’t spend even more. Miraculously, the Serbian public, especially those leaning towards the opposition, somehow managed to miss this and kept saying that Vucic and Djukanovic are colluding and helping each other win political points. And those same people are still the main interpreters of the events in Serbia and abroad.
All in all, the victory of the opposition, the bulk of which is gathered around the Democratic front, didn’t weaken, but, on the contrary, strengthen Vucic. More precisely, his position, which he’s been patiently building for years, as the leader of all Serbs in the region – those from Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia. Only the Serbs from Croatia got out of control, which resulted immediately in Vucic’s media calling them traitors – against Serbdom itself, no less!
By the way, the same people who believe that tiny people live in the radio may also believe that Amfilohije would lead Montenegro to Europe – the same man who made that shameful speech at Zoran Djindjic’s funeral, which many who definitely know better have forgotten and forgiven.
In other words, although the expert government is supported almost unilaterally, this choice is really questionable. This government could easily be used as a cover for political technology to slowly mummify institutions and redirect politics. Just like Vucic did when he filled the government with Dinkic’s experts and put Dacic in charge. It lasted exactly two years – and we all know what happened after that.
Regarding this, the statement made by the leaders of the three winning (at least that’s what it looks like now) coalitions after their meeting sounded as if it was written in Vucic’s cabinet. Sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops. It’s, of course, very pleasing to the senses, but it would be politically distasteful and unskilled to immediately announce a revolution and sharp change of course. Although, for example, the program of the coalition For the future of Montenegro says that they will abolish the euro when they come into power.
When it comes to the change of government here, there is one important difference between Serbia and Montenegro. The polarization in Montenegro was made along national lines: it was a clash between – generally speaking, although the picture is not quite that black and white – Serbian national identity (which is more nationalist, religious and pro-Russian) and Montenegrin national identity (which is more civil, pro-state and pro-European). There is no such division in Serbia. The position of Serbian nationalism is strongly held by Vucic (evidenced, for example, by the events surrounding the monument to Stefan Nemanja) and the opposition – that is, its mainstream – is trying to oppose him with even stronger nationalism. As this will be very difficult, the opposition would have to build another platform and an accompanying strategy. The European Union seems to be the logical choice. But the opposition is carefully avoiding that, or only doing it very hesitantly.
Translated by Marijana Simic