(Text: Valerija F.) The state of emergency has been lifted, and of all the restrictions, the government left only the recommendation to wear face masks in closed spaces, kindergartens and schools, but not a lot of people respects those recommendations. Few days before they lifted the state of emergency and presented the number of infected persons decreasing. With the decrease in infections they justified the end of the restrictions, but I think these informations were faked so they could hold elections. In the last ten days, every day, the number of infected persons increased around 70 – 80 persons, but now they don’t mention that anymore. So in fact the situation isn’t better than during the time when we had emergency state. And from personal sources we know that the real numbers are hidden in our city. Everything looks like that the numbers of infected persons are manipulated since the beginning, first to impose the emergency state, and now in order to hold elections without any distractions.

Due to such an attitude of the authorities towards the pandemic, the majority of the population behaves with frivolity, and a lot of people are confused by the contradictory information which they receive. Last week they allowed to have football matches where more than 15000 fans without any protective equipment watched. The state media is in the service of the government completely.

The opposition is divided, most of them opt for the boycott of the elections.

The conditions are not fair, not even close. President Vucic is on every television channel, and all the time he is telling about “winning over the authorities” (even if these elections are not presidential ones, but for the assembly). Fortunately, there are several independent newsrooms that publish a new scandal every week in which the state government is involved, but NOBODY has been prosecuted or convicted.

The government is associated with arms smuggling, illegal marijuana plantations, intimidation of journalists, and the latest news is Vucic’s son’s association with a criminal from the Kavac clan, with whom he has been photographed 4 times, but Vucic and the prime minister portray it as socializing of kids who are friends with each other. (These are young men aged 22 and 28).

All in all, the situation in Serbia is not that good. We still suffer from our government repressing the freedom of the press and disrespect of human rights. A lot of people lost their jobs because of Corona, but no one talks about that anymore…

Valerija F. is working for our partner organization in Sombor and shared her perspective on the current political situation in Serbia.