Monday Oct 2, 2023
Monday Oct 2, 2023

Serbian President Vucic steps down amid anti-govt protests

2023 May 28, 13:41, Belgrade [Serbia]

Protests in Belgrade have entered their fourth week with scores of people taking to the streets of the Serbian capital demanding the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic after two mass shootings in and around Belgrade earlier this month, reported Al Jazeera.

Vucic's government is under fire following two shootings that killed 18 people and injured many more recently.

On May 3, a teenage guy in Belgrade killed nine students and a security guard. It was Serbia's first school mass shooting. A day later, a 21-year-old man outside the city killed eight people.

On Saturday, anti-government protestors, many of whom held flowers and images of the dead children, were upset at the governing Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) for what they claim is a culture of violence fostered by the government and the media outlets it controls, Al Jazeera reported.

Protesters have time and again, urged the government to remove the broadcasting licences of television networks that promote violent content, as well as a prohibition on pro-government newspapers that incite violence by attacking political dissidents.

Meanwhile, Vucic accused the opposition of exploiting the shooting tragedies for political gain.

Earlier on Saturday, he stepped down as head of the ruling party, SNS and chose Milos Vucevic, the current defence minister, as his replacement, according to Al Jazeera.

The anti-government protests, held under the banner "Serbia against violence" and planned by opposition groups, have resulted in some of the country's largest rallies.

The 53-year-old took over as president of the SNS in 2012, succeeding Tomislav Nikolic, who had held the position from the party's inception as an outgrowth of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party in 2008, according to Al Jazeera.

He was appointed deputy prime minister and prime minister before being elected president in 2017 and 2022. His second and last tenure ends in 2027. 


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