Serbia Opposition Snubs Call to Boycott Parliament

Serbian opposition parties have rejected the proposition of the former Democratic Party president, Bojan Pajtic, to adopt a "radically different approach" to political struggle and boycott parliament, as they did during the era of President Slobodan Milosevic.

The Democratic Party's current president, Dragan Sutanovac, said leaving parliament would be "very bad" because the political situation now is different from the time of Milosevic.

"In the 1990s, the Democratic Party was in power in many cities, and there were also independent media that allowed opposition leaders on as guests, regardless of the totalitarian regime. Today we only have parliament," Sutanovac told Beta news agency.

He added that parliament remains the "only place where the citizens can see members of the opposition".

Other opposition parties have also shrugged off Pajtic's proposition.

Bojan Kostres, from the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina, told BIRN that the struggle for citizens' interests should be fought in state institutions.

"By leaving the institutions, we would give the [ruling Serbian] Progressive Party the right to further undermine the state of civil rights and media freedoms, because no one would be left to control them and point out what they are doing," Kostres said.

He added that not all of those who oppose the regime of President Aleksandar Vucic can work in unison because they do not all share the same values, naming those of the right-wing Dveri Movement as incompatible with those of his own party.

Srdjan Nogo, from Dveri, told BIRN that they do not see Pajtic's suggestion as relevant, and he should address the proposal to his own political party.

"Pajtic has had the chance to show what he was like as a politician...

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