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Everything turned upside down during the referendum and after it

In the days when almost everyone was dealing with the issues of tennis, vaccines and Australia's immigration policy, a tectonic shift and redistribution of political forces in Serbia began in a sort of leeward wind.

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Photo: Betaphoto
Photo: Betaphoto
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Even in a nation full of experts on everything, dominated this month by experts on vaccines and tennis (well, Australia's immigration policy too), there weren't many who would admit to understanding exactly what the referendum on constitutional changes was "in part" about. concerning the judiciary". Hence, many did not know until the last moment how to stand, and whether to vote at all.

The referendum was finally held, and thus it succeeded, since there are no other prerequisites for its success: theoretically, one voter was enough. The proposed constitutional changes won the majority, and that would be the end of this story, when in fact it had not just begun.

Well, isn't there something very unusual in a situation where opponents of the regime, justifiably outraged by the monopolization of all power in the hands of one man and the executive power under his control, vote against constitutional changes that should strengthen the independence of the judiciary? Isn't it extremely bizarre that the European Union and other external factors that are watching the democratic development of Serbia welcome the voted changes, and the part of the Serbian public that is actually the most "pro-European" votes against the changes?

All this seems like confusion from some vicious political satire in which all values ​​are turned upside down and no one is what they say they are, but the opposite. And it will be that this is also a logical consequence of the decadence and degeneration of public dialogue, the free public and normal, unfettered political pluralism, all of which have fallen as victims of almost ten years of progressive undermining and demolition from the ground up.

It is clear, therefore, that hence, in such fundamentally unfavorable circumstances for any serious and free political debate and competition, for many this was not a referendum on the question raised in it, but, colloquially speaking, "about Vučić": a kind of preliminary weighing before the April elections.

The majority of voters stayed at home, and the struggle to interpret their non-appearance is yet to follow, but it is certain that it cannot be considered a success of the government - which does not necessarily mean that the opposition has something to look forward to. But the majority vote against the proposed constitutional changes in the three largest cities of Serbia and the centers of its political, intellectual, media and cultural life: in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, no serious person should allow themselves to ignore.

No matter how careful one should be with analogies, everyone in Serbia remembers well that the delegitimization and collapse of Milosevic's regime started from the largest cities and then spread capillaryly across the country. Vučić remembers it better than the others.

Now, however, it is more certain that the "battle for Belgrade" could be very uncertain, and that it could turn out that the opposition in that fight is not without prospects - although they will do something against it, which we will see, April is far away.

This opens, or rather it will tighten, a "black hole" in the center of the current order: the issue of Belgrade, that is, the authorities in the capital of Serbia. Regardless of the fact that the image of voting in the referendum should be taken not with a grain of salt, but with a whole grain of salt, it is now more certain that the "battle for Belgrade" could be very uncertain, and that it could be shown that the opposition in that fight is not without prospects - although there will be many things working against her, which we will see, April is far away.

And why is Belgrade so important? Not only because that's where the bulk of the money, resources, power and influence is, because that's how it's always been. But also because of one reason specific to the progressive era. Namely, in the last decade, Belgrade has been by far the most intensively subjected to a fundamental transformation of character and spirit, the city has been reshaped and is still being reshaped to a great extent (the issue of the metro, for example) according to the measure of the reckless and inconsiderate kleptocratic clique in and around the government, directly against the interests, needs , habits and beliefs of a large part of its citizens.

That process has now advanced so far that no one could recall it or return it to the starting point, but this may be the last moment when it could at least be stopped, before it becomes almost impossible to do anything meaningful about it. - the humanization of the city, which more and more of its inhabitants feel as if it was stolen from them.

It could therefore be shown that in the days when almost everyone was dealing with the issues of tennis, vaccines and immigration policy of Australia, a tectonic shift and redistribution of political forces in Serbia began in a kind of leeward direction. Otherwise, the real frost will bind Serbia only in April. And that's not natural, no matter how you look at it.

(Free Europe)

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(Opinions and views published in the "Columns" section are not necessarily the views of the "Vijesti" editorial office.)