Serbia: Electoral campaigns face voter apathy
last update: January 03, 14:59
Belgrade, 3 Jan. (AKI) - Parliamentary elections in Serbia are at least four months away but political parties are already waging an aggressive campaign amid general apathy and mistrust of politicians.
According to latest survey conducted by agency Factor Plus only 21 per cent of those surveyed were sure to go to the polls and for whom to vote, a drop of 16 per cent compared to last year.
The survey, published by Belgrade daily Politika on Tuesday, gave opposition Serbian progressive Party (SNS) 32,8 per cent of votes, with Democratic Party (DS) of pro-European president Boris Tadic 6.1 per cent behind.
In addition, only four more parties were likely to pass the five per cent census for the 250-seat parliament and any party would have problem forming the government, unless SNS and DS joined forces, which they swore against.
Serbia changed the election law this year, granting MPs the right to freely dispose with their mandates and cross party lines at will. Analysts said this would devalue election result and turn parliament turned into a “flee market”, with rich parties buying deputies for money.
The survey showed Tadic was still the most popular politician, but only with 17 per cent of positive votes, followed by SNS leader Tomislav Nikolic with 16 per cent. At the same time, Tadic got 21 per cent of disapproving votes and Nikolic 19 per cent.
“The trend shows a general drop of confidence in politicians and political parties,” Factor Plus director Vladimir Pejic said.
Tadic has proclaimed as his main goal Serbia’s membership in the European Union, but Germany last month blocked Serbia from getting a status of an official candidate, saying it should first normalize relations with Kosovo whose majority Albanians declared independence in 2008.
Nikolic, on the other hand, has turned from a rabid nationalist into a moderate pro-European politician, but his ambiguous statements have left people wondering what his real position was.
Serbia is grappling with acute economic crisis, including 22 per cent unemployment, and most of those surveyed believed this year would be even worse than the last.
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