Flower Fields by Sameer Mundkur

We had a president who doesn’t want to meddle in his own affairs, we had a president who meddles in everyone’s affairs. We had a president’s wife who meddles in the president’s affairs, and we had a president who confuses women with his affairs. We had everything, but we still haven’t had a president who meddles in his wife’s affairs and stays away from his own. Now we have that.

Instead of seeing the news that the president has appeared somewhere accompanied by his wife – we see the president’s wife appearing somewhere accompanied by her husband, who is, by the way, the president of our state. What happened that made the president stop doing his official duties and started doing the things other presidents do only after their terms had ended? Why is he acting as if, right in the middle of his term, our polity changed and we became a monarchy and he a monarch who does humanitarian work?

When the current president resigned from the position as head of his party, it was good for the society, primarily because he promised to be a president of all citizens, and not only those who voted for his party. However, it seems that he has stopped being a president of all citizens and became only a husband of the president’s wife, which is not very good for the society – most of all because he confused the official with the unofficial, the state with the private, the private with the constitutional.

First, the official wife of the official president of the state founded a private foundation at the official address of the Presidency and named it after herself. Then the wife launched her unofficial website on the official website of the president, only, this time, not under her name, but under the formal, yet constitutionally informal title: suprugapredsednika.rs (wifeofthepresident.rs). And now, the president unofficially visits the families whose private houses were renewed by his wife’s private foundation and speaks only about the quality of construction works (which is basically fine, because he went to high school for that) and strongly refuses to say anything about the official stand of the president about the international situation or “a writing” (as the prime minister referred to it) European Union sent us. However, maybe it is better for the state, and especially for the government, that president officially remains silent about those issues, but exactly this, this “officially” is the point – nobody wants the president’s private opinion (which maycause the state harm), but the official, and possiblystatesmanlike position! Just like nobody expected him to not show up at the state celebration of the Battle of Ceranniversary, again for private reasons (summer holiday or the fear of being booed again). A stunt double stood in for him – the president of RepublikaSrpska.

Well, there are a lot of presidents who can’t tell the fine difference between the private and the official, national and statesmanlike. But still – to have the official president of the state not do his job during his work hours, which he is paid for by the citizens, but to work for his wife’s private foundation as a private citizen, only in the official capacity of the president?! Only in Serbia.

Translated by Marijana Simic

Peščanik.net, 31.08.2014.

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Nadežda Milenković, kreativna direktorka, školovala se da radi sa delinkventima, a završila kao „samohrana majka srpskog advertajzinga“. Smislila neke od najboljih slogana: „Ili jesi ili nisi“ (Lav pivo) , „Izgleda šašavo, ali mene leđa više ne bole“ (Kosmodisk), „Ako vam je dobro, onda ništa“ (Peščanik)... Radila u reklamnim agencijama: Mark-plan, Sači, Mekken, Komunis. Sve manje radi komercijalne kampanje i okreće se goodvertisingu. Na Fakultetu za medije i komunikacije vodila master kurs: Idejologija. Autorka bestseler knjige „Kako da najlakše upropastite rođeno dete“, dugogodišnje rubrike „Pun kufer marketinga“ u nedeljniku Vreme i kolumne ponedeljkom na portalu Peščanik. Poslednja knjiga: „Ponedeljak može da počne“, 2020.

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