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News 25 Apr 17

Serbian Ex Ombudsman Takes his Case to Brussels

Former Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic is heading to Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday to present what he calls the case for the 'alternative Serbia' not controlled by Aleksandar Vucic.

Maja Zivanovic

Sasa Jankovic. Photo: Beta/Emil Vas

Former Ombudsman and runner-up in Serbia's April 2 presidential elections, Sasa Jankovic will meet European Parliament officials and ask for their help against what he calls "anti-European processes" in Serbia.  

Jankovic won 16.37 per cent of the vote in the presidential elections, coming well behind Vucic, on 55.06 per cent. However, the losing candidates - and many others - claimed the election was marred by lopsided media coverage and pressure on civil servants and others to vote for Vucic.

Jankovic's team confirmed to BIRN that his host in Brussels will be the Vice President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Josef Weidenholzer.

In addition to meeting Weidenholzer, Jankovic will participate in the meeting of the Parliamentary Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, and will separately meet the Vice-President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek.

He will also meet European Parliamentarian Soraya Post, members of the cabinet of the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, advisor to the Group for the Delegation of the EU to Serbia Jorgen Siil, and representatives of the Office of the European Ombudsman and others, Jankovic’s team said.

Ahead of the trip, Jankovic told the Serbian web portal Maglocistac that the international community sees what is happening in Serbia.

"Representatives of some countries and international institutions are maybe not sure how we in Serbia are ready, determined and resolute, responsible for alternative to transfuse into reality, "Jankovic said on April 22, adding that he hoped that the international community did not take steps that could be interpreted as support for bad processes in Serbia, because “these processes in Serbia are anti-European”.

“No one has the obligation to build democracy in Serbia but ourselves. Aleksandar Vucic became powerful, not by building something new, but by destroying ... every alternative to himself,” Jankovic concluded.

Jankovic, who ran on a civic liberal platform in the elections, announced on April 13 that he will launch his own opposition political movement.

He also told Maglocistac that the presidential elections showed there exists an alternative in Serbia that “genuinely believes in European values and the values inscribed in our constitution - rule of law, respect for human rights, equality of citizens, freedom of media, social justice.

“In a situation when we clearly show that this alternative is real, I believe there will be more outside help,” Jankovic said on April 22.

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