Logistical – administrative repression in three acts
In a state of post-electoral “uncertainty”, produced by the prime minister, CeSID, and RIK, the only unquestionable electoral list was the one headed by Vojislav Seselj. Speaking in the language of RIK’s experts, his position is logical and administratively justified. His position is certain, unlike all others, except for, of course, SNS, whose percentage could only increase. In a drama entitled “Elections in Serbia 2016”, three acts can be differentiated. And the gun from the first act, held by Aleksandar Vucic, who proclaimed the results based on 77% of counted votes (which was quickly done by SNS), will have to fire at the end of the third act. And we can already make out who is the most likely to get hurt in the shooting – the two lists whose percentage will remain uncertain for the upcoming holidays: DSS-Dveri and SDS-LDP-LSV. The third act began at the meeting of the Presidential board of SNS, attended by RIK president Dejan Djurdjevic. The meeting was held behind closed doors but, based on everything that happened afterwards, it’s clear that the ruling party has decided to conduct the third act under its own dramaturgical principles, i.e. to push at least two parties below the census and, thus, improve its result. RIK’s president automatically began using the prime minister’s colloquial language, calling the opposition leaders participants of the “Bodrum affair”. Also, RIK’s president began telling lies, explaining to the public that RIK has received only two objections, both filed by his party, i.e. SNS. Although Nova stranka uncovered this lie of his, by saying that it has also filed objections, nothing happened.
After this meeting, the prime minister himself presented the prepared screenplay for the third act. After the failed metaphor of a frog of 48% and ungulate of 5%, in a famous radical manner, Vucic tried to present the first post-electoral night as an hour of the wolf, when the impure opposition forces ruled and, at 2 a.m., “miraculously” crossed the census. “Strange things happened during the night. Strange visits, threats, pressures, and questions as to why RIK isn’t working at night, and it was working, while no one thought to ask why PIK isn’t working, but sleeping”, explained the prime minister. Namely, it’s logical that the opposition, having seen that something strange is happening with the vote count, doesn’t stop and think about the election results, it’s not logical for it to come to RIK and start asking questions as to what’s going on in that institution, which also spoke up only at the hour of the wolf after election day with results based on 27.25% of the votes. Opposition leaders came to RIK around 2.30, during the second late-night press conference, when president Djurdjevic presented the results based on 42.85% of the votes. And they asked for the records. This reaction of the opposition is exactly what the prime minister was talking about at the press conference after the SNS executive board meeting. In his opinion, this reaction was unacceptable, because these elections were “the purest in the history of parliamentarism in Serbia”. However, when we’re dealing with the hour of the wolf, pure things are scarce. And so, the prime minister spoke with disrespect of the opposition which is lying and imagining irregularities that aren’t there. “I would rather never rule, than steal a single vote”, concluded Vucic and continued to further criminalize opposition leaders. He’s not worried that the opposition may enter the Parliament, especially not that he would have to debate with “that bankruptcy trustee who’s only worried about his and his wife’s businesses”. Or Pajtic and other so-called experts. So he came to the key words of the third act – “logical errors” and “emptying the sacks”. Vucic couldn’t accept the fact that some lists managed to pass the census, so he questioned 25 records, half of which were from Sjenica, where, apparently, SNS didn’t have the level of control it had in North Kosovo. This would later result in the famous 67%, prepared previously by Marko Djuric and his field officers. At the end of his speech, and as an introduction to the third act, the prime minister completely dehumanized the opposition: “Those that have had enough, or whatever, they are part of that yellow corpus and that’s it!” So, those parties don’t have names, those people are nameless. They can be criminalized bankruptcy trustees, participants of affairs, gym-goers, thieves, liars, in one word they can only be yellow, i.e. close to the Democratic party, which Vucic failed to completely destroy in these elections, besides the incredible hate, public defamation and media blockage. Even his intellectual satellites, who previously demanded that DS be banned from operating, failed to do it. The fact that new opposition lists managed to pass the census threw the prime minister out of balance and made him decide to openly manufacture the election results.
Two days later, it turned out that over sixty objections to the electoral process were made, instead of only two made by SNS. President Djurdjevic didn’t say who made those objections. Instead, RIK held a marathon night session to decide on logistical-administrative errors determined on 149 polling stations. “That which is made by day is destroyed at night”, as the old saying goes. That’s why RIK overturned the elections on 15 polling stations in Serbia. This means around 18,000 uncertain votes, which would leave said lists below the census for now. At least until the scheduled voting, plus another 96 hours during which RIK is obliged to count the votes. If the ruling SNS had managed to count 77% of the votes from the closing of the voting polls to 10 o’clock that night, we’re hoping that president Djurdjevic, being from the same party, will manage to count the votes on that day. Of course, the issue of procedure and possible manipulations by the ruling party during the holidays remains. If we follow the drama logic, the third act is the most predictable one and it’s inevitably coming to the point projected by the prime minister at the beginning of this post-electoral drama. Any deviation from that dramaturgy can only be a surprise. However, the experience Goran Bogdanovic, and SDS representative from Kosovo, shared with the public is worrying. He voted at polling station 9 in Lesak, for his list, naturally. But, when the votes were counted, his coalition didn’t have a single vote. Prime minister Vucic particularly thanked voters from Kosovo where the list “Serbia wins” won two thirds of the votes. It could have won more if it wanted, but that would’ve been too much. Only Milosevic could do that. Maybe that’s why these elections seem so much like those in November 1996. If the opposition remains persistent, maybe some Lex specialis will emerge despite the prime minister’s iron-fist dramaturgy. It would be Vucic’s first defeat.
Translated by Marijana Simic
Rođen 1972. u Jagodini, diplomirao na Filološkom fakultetu u Beogradu. Objavio tri knjige priča (Predosećanje građanskog rata, 2000; Dušanovac. Pošta, 2015; Lov na ježeve, 2015) i dva romana (Berlinsko okno, 2005; Pad Kolumbije, 2010). Bio je jedan od pokretača i urednik književnog podlistka Beton u dnevnom listu Danas od osnivanja 2006. do oktobra 2013. U decembru iste godine osnovao je sa Alidom Bremer list Beton International, koji periodično izlazi na nemačkom jeziku kao podlistak Tageszeitunga i Frankfurtera Rundschaua. Jedan je od urednika Međunarodnog književnog festivala POLIP u Prištini. Njegova proza dostupna je u prevodu na albanski, francuski, makedonski i nemački jezik.