Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Fraud? Don't Be Sore Losers...


No one talks about the election fraud in Serbia anymore, it seems. Yes, look at the date, May 19, less than two weeks after Dveri called the regime out on the election fraud. Sure, Dveri are leading street protests, rallying thousands of people against the injustice. But no one talks about the theft, no one who can alleviate the created negative charge by reasoning and offering solutions.
The memory of the slaughtered is short; they forget quickly and they get slaughtered anew as soon as they forget where the wolves come from. That's what the enemy has traditionally relied on. The Tadić regime media, which includes virtually every major outlet in Serbia, has been painstakingly and systematically subduing the fraud clamor, the protests under their windows, the overwhelming evidence, the truth, simply by ignoring it and substituting it with trivialities produced on an hourly basis.  A bared piece of ass on the Serbian version of Survivor is quicker to grab the headlines than the effigy of Boris Tadić in prison garb being displayed by the enraged thousands across Belgrade. ''Save Serbia and get lost, Boris!'' is worth 7 seconds of Dnevnik, the prime time newscast, if that. The airwaves are simply silent. The coverage of the protests was simply suppressed. What assignment editor would otherwise ignore several thousand people marching through downtown Belgrade in protest of the worst offense to democracy, the election fraud?
Debates in the social media arena are, however, raging, with the opposition-minded Serbs often bitterly divided. Tomislav Nikolić's Progressives and Vojislav Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia formed the post-election coalition on Wednesday and rallied behind Nikolić in the presidential election run-off, rejecting the open arms of Dveri, who called for a united front in protesting the first round fraud and demanding a repeat election. The rapidly growing Dveri followers, joined by a number of ideologically like-minded Radicals, whose party is incapacitated by infighting and the election disaster, have pledged to boycott the run-off, de-legitimizing it and continuing to demand the annulment of the rigged first round. Dveri claimed that the SNS-DSS coalition effectively recognized the validity of the first round by participating in the run-off. The new patriotic block denied this, with Nikolić citing his moral impetus to act responsibly towards Serbia and try to win on Sunday. Koštunica was mainly motivated by preserving the Constitution against changes, which the regime hinted at. His coalition with Nikolić prevents the regime from securing two-thirds of the National Assembly votes necessary to amend or replace the Constitution. Facebook and Twitter discussions have ignored these aspects and focused solely on whether the participation in the run-off was treacherous or the last attempt at grasping a straw of salvation.
Dveri supporters advocated street protests, the refusal of SNS and DSS deputies to accept the parliamentary nominations and further efforts at de-legitimizing the regime by insisting on the fraud issue. They have been nothing but consistent in adamantly opposing the run-off participation. The Nikolić and Koštunica supporters countered by warning that a no-vote for Nikolić is a vote for Tadić. The fragmentation of the patriotic voting body in the run-up to Sunday has just exemplified the distorted view of priorities among the nationalist Right.
Regime's social media vanguard has been gloating at the inter-opposition squabble, adding fuel to the fire here and there, but mainly diverting the conversation towards subjects of no significance, creating an illusion that the election fraud debates are either over, irrelevant or not cool. Their tone is mellow, and when it's not ridiculing, it's full of the return-to-normal undertones. What election fraud? Don't be sore losers. What raping of democracy? Don't be conspiracy theorists. I must notice that, following some of the so-called ''influential'' Twitterers in Serbia, among the tons of inconsequential blurbs, the tweets that meant to say something weren't unequivocal in their support for the regime, or rather, weren't consistent. It was clear that their purported allegiance swayed as their take on what the election outcome would be was flip-flopping. Most of these ''influencers'' were preoccupied with staying relevant and staying employed, and while there were some principled ones, the majority kept at an arm's distance from overtly and loudly rooting for Tadić. I can't say they were objective; they were just cautious and cowardly, I'd say. I have to admit their apparent fear of staying loyal to the regime tricked me into believing that the opposition had a chance to win in the parliamentary round.
Serbia is on the edge again. Even Novak Đoković, err, his family, supported Tadić. His father was one of the speakers at the Democratic Party's closing convention, following such dignitaries as Milorad Dodik, Dragan Đilas, Nenad Čanak and Rasim Ljajić, as well as few foreigners on the video conference call that lent support to Tadić. I thought it was deplorable that Tadić reached for Đoković and pulled him into the mud, but I also thought it was a telling sign of Tadić's vulnerability, regardless of the fact that he can just rig the vote. And Novak is a grown man, he should have known better.
I say Serbia is on the edge and it may slip off regardless of the election outcome. Tadić's re-election, if it happens, has been irreversibly marred and his power will be de-legitimized no matter what. No one talks about the fraud on the airwaves, but it will take time for the Serbian people to forget it. Boris Tadić is the most reviled person in the country and such a polarizing figure that those on the opposite side of the aisle will not forget easily, especially since his regime rendered economic collapse inevitable and such a development can easily compound the fraud-related emotion buildup to push the country over the edge. People are chanting ''fraud'' now, but it may turn into an outrage and a riot quickly, and it will all be Tadić's fault. They say he stole from them, in more ways than one, and they think he is now ignoring their concerns and despising them, which is blatantly obvious. 


Gray Falcon said...

Whatever they may say publicly, I think most people who loathe Tadić will hold their noses and vote for Nikolić, just to see him gone. Sure, it gives elections legitimacy, but it's a lot easier to question that legitimacy after Comrade Bota is out of power. If he stays, the only remaining remedy is force.

Anonymous said...

What is your opinion in question of winning presidency by Nikolic. I wouldny't be surprised if suddenly on Monday media tell that Tadic win by te way here is translation on polish your article from 19 may 2011,AR3_2012-05_2012-05-01_2012-05-31,index.html

Srbo said...

The Nikolic win was a surprise for me because the grasp of Tadic's government over the society was so powerful in a very undemocratic way.
I don't think a Monday turnaround is possible. There's probably been a deal made, whereby Nikolic wouldn't join Dveri protests, but would bargain for power with that as an option. The question was not whether Nikolic could beat Tadic, but whether the West would allow that. There either had to be guarantees made by Nikolic that he wouldn't impede their progress in conquering Serbia or a Russian pushback by which Nikolic's rise to power wouldn't be impeded by the West. Something along those lines.
This is a power-sharing arrangement, since the president doesn't wield a lot of power. It was a huge success for Nikolic personally, since it's a vindication of the years he strove to win. This was a crucial win for the Serbian nationalists, if we allow ourselves to see Nikolic as someone who can serve nationalist interests.
I'll write more on this in the next article.
Thanks for translating the article into Polish.

Srbo said...

You should see those that Dinkic called "influential" Twitterists, or whatever the proper term is. The hypocrisy is enormous. The pendulum was swinging several times a day. People that are most likely paid to "influence" really turned out to be a bad investment for Tadic.