Tens of thousands gather in Serbia for Vucic’s show of force



Tens of thousands gathered in central Belgrade on Friday in support of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in a show of power after massive anti-government protests in response to two mass shootings that killed 18 people earlier this month.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik were among those who spoke at the “Serbia of Hope” rally, which drew busloads of people from all over Serbia and neighboring Bosnia and Macedonia.

On May 3, a teenager killed nine students and a security guard in the first school shooting in Serbia. The next day, a 21-year-old man killed eight on the outskirts of Belgrade, sparking a collective sense of deep dissatisfaction and protests.

Backed by opposition parties, protesters say the government led by Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has failed to control media that promote violence and take action against criminal elements in society.

They have called for the resignation of Vucic and some ministers, prompting the ruling elite to stage a rally to show how much support they have.

Vucic asked fans to observe a minute’s silence in honor of all the victims of the two attacks. He told supporters that he would step down as party boss on Saturday.

“From tomorrow I will be the president of all citizens of Serbia and not the president of the political party.”

At the rally, people held up Serbian flags, photos of Vucic and a banner reading “With my heart for Vucic”.

Source: Terra

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