Thousands brave snow to rally against Serbia populist leader

  • A man holds a Serbian flag during a protest march against populist President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Thousands of people have protested in Serbia for a fifth consecutive week over what they say has been a stifling of democratic freedoms under President Aleksandar Vucic. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

  • People march during a protest against populist President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Thousands of people have protested in Serbia for a fifth consecutive week over what they say has been a stifling of democratic freedoms under President Aleksandar Vucic. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

  • People march during a protest against populist President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Thousands of people have protested in Serbia for a fifth consecutive week over what they say has been a stifling of democratic freedoms under President Aleksandar Vucic. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia — Thousands of people have braved snow and freezing temperatures in Serbia’s capital to turn up for the fifth week of street protests against populist President Aleksandar Vucic.

The demonstrators marched through downtown Belgrade blowing whistles and booing and jeering loudly as they passed the Serbian presidency building on Saturday. Some carried Serbian flags and banners reading “We are the people” or “Down with the thieves.”

The demonstrations started after thugs beat up an opposition leader in November, putting pressure on Vucic.

Critics accuse the president of imposing an autocracy through strict control over the media and promoting hate speech against opponents.

Vucic rejects being labeled as domineering and has suggested he might call an early election this year. A former extreme nationalist, he has held office saying he favors Serbia joining the European Union.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.