17. March 2017

"Politics made fun of people - now people do it to politics"

Presidential candidate Luka Maksimovic, aka Ljubisa Preletacevic Beli, says Serbia "doesn't have a strong opposition." And Serbia's opposition parties, such as they are, have failed to "liven up" the citizens sufficiently, according to him. Maksimovic was a guest on the N1 broadcaster when he said that his "fictitious character, Preletacevic," on the other hand, managed to do this - "because the same people have been hanging around on the political scene for 30 years." Preletacevic is a play on words in Serbian, where the expression "preletac" is used to describe a politician who changes parties for personal gains. Last year, Maksimovic's civil movement dubbed "Beli - Samo Jako" ("Beli - Hit it Hard") received 21 percent of the vote in the local election in Belgrade's municipality of Mladenovac, finishing second - behind the ruling SNS. "Since October 5 (2000) nobody trusts them any longer. And then a fictitious character shows up who vitalizes people and everyone wants to vote for him. People need something new, perhaps we don't have a plan - but we have a goal," he told N1. "Vucic is very serious and he knows exactly what he's doing. The authorities are very organized, and yet weak, in the sense that they have weak players, they have five or six qualified (people) around Vucic, the rest is - good grief! Vucic is pulling everything behind him, that's why he's the leader, the rest aren't competent enough," Maksimovic thinks. According to him, "satire is the right way to express the human revolt and all the negative things that surround us." "I didn't come out with a concrete idea of how to bring about Serbia's renaissance, instead I came to ridicule politics in an artistic way. For 30 years it's been making fun of people, and now people are making fun of politics," he said. As for the possibility of a court annulling his candidacy, Maksimovic says he is "not too bothered." "There's a chance they could kick me out of the presidential race, but I'm not too bothered about it. I have a legal team, they recently graduated from university and that's their practice, they know about that, I know less than you do," he told the interviewer. Maksimovic thinks that Serbian citizens should decide about the country's possible membership in the EU in a referendum, and had this to say about NATO: "I think we should not join NATO, because it's like getting battered by somebody, and then wanting to hang out with them - but let people, rather than me, decide about that in a referendum, too." Maksimovic would not recognize Kosovo - "because it's a shame for a part of your country to secede." "Some power, eastern or western, decides what will happen there. I wouldn't want any splitting up, I'd like us all to unite, but I don't decide about that. I would defend the Constitution of Serbia, and if possible, I'd put that issue, too, to a referendum," Maksimovic said, adding that he would be satisfied if he managed to win "more than five percent" on April 2. "Sociological phenomenon" Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Friday said he is convinced that he will be succeeded in office by Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's prime minister and the candidate of the ruling coalition - and described "Ljubisa Preletacevic" as "a sociological phenomenon." "The winner in these elections will definitely be Aleksandar Vucic. If the others, who consider themselves to be serious politicians, receive fewer votes than Preletacevic, that should give them pause," Nikolic told the tabloid Kurir. As for Luka Maksimovic, aka Ljubisa Preletacevic, the president said: "I don't fancy him as a candidate, because he couldn't be one in a more serious country, but he's okay for another kind of performance - where one buys the ticket. First of all, I don't think it's serious to vote for him but I think a percentage of the population will still do it, in order to show their revolt toward politics in general." @b92

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