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This is how the "Franco-German" plan is shaking the electoral landscape of Serbia, the division between the opposition parties begins, from the clashes for the independence of Kosovo, the integration in the EU, to the support of Russia
Written by SOT.COM.AL 11 Dhjetor 2023
In an important turn of events, the Franco-German plan for Kosovo has created ripples in the pre-election landscape in Serbia. The plan, which does not explicitly mention Kosovo's independence or membership in the United Nations, has nevertheless become a major election issue. President Aleksandër Vucic has already verbally accepted the proposal, causing a split between the opposition parties.
Opposition parties: A divided house
With the Franco-German plan for Kosovo at the center of political discourse, opposition parties find themselves divided on the issue. Some have chosen to abandon EU membership aspirations, aligning themselves with pro-Russian sentiments. The National Party, under the leadership of Vuk Jeremic, has clearly moved towards a pro-Russian stance. On the other hand, figures like Boris Tadic have expressed criticism of the Franco-German plan, representing a division within the opposition.
Debate on Kosovo and Serbian nationalism
The debate goes beyond the plan itself, touching on the introduction of sanctions against Russia, NATO membership and the Srebrenica genocide. It seems that the opposition is involved in a race of Serbian nationalism. Many oppose the Franco-German plan and, as a result, the integration of Serbia into Europe. This stance is seen as strengthening EU support for Vucic as a lesser evil, in an effort to maintain some stability within the region.
Shadow practical concerns
Unfortunately, this focus on national and geopolitical issues overshadows more practical concerns. The economy, crime and corruption, issues that directly affect the daily life of the Serbian people, seem to have taken a back seat in the election discourse. The consolidation of right-wing parties and their stance on the Kosovo issue only further complicates the political landscape. As Serbia approaches parliamentary elections, the Franco-German plan for Kosovo will continue to influence political discourse. The division within the opposition and the focus on national and geopolitical issues, however, could ultimately shape the outcome of the election and Serbia's future trajectory.
Charter of Kosovo
So, in order to win the elections, the 13 electoral lists participating on December 17, more than half of them base their pre-election narrative on "national issues". Kosovo, Russia or "the protection of the interests of Serbs outside the borders of the country", are some of the most mentioned topics of the national segment in the election messages. Vucic, on November 20, stated that he fears that the year 2024 will bring much more conflict and unrest. "When I say this, I think about every kind of threat to our people in Kosovo and Metohija, but also in Republika Srpska and in many other parts of our region," said Vucic at the commemoration of the 182nd anniversary of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. (SANU). Ivica Dacic, head of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and coalition partner of the progressives, also presented his party in the pre-election campaign as the defender of the "national interests" of Serbs "wherever they live". At a pre-election rally in Lubovija, a city near the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dacic said that the entity of this state, Republika Srpska, was created "on the foundations of SPS politics" and that it is "a historical asset , which we are ready to defend". "National issues" are also the focus of some pre-election coalitions, composed of right-wing opposition parties. The parties Dveri and Zavetnici (Covenants), which make up the "National Rally" electoral list, have in their political programs the preservation of Kosovo as part of Serbia. "We are committed to defining a clear and long-term strategy for the comprehensive restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija," says the website of the Zavetnici party. Among the goals and priorities of the foreign policy, Dveri mentions "the reintegration of Kosovo into the constitutional and legal order of Serbia", as well as the cancellation of the Brussels Agreement signed by the representatives of Serbia and Kosovo in 2013.