2006-02-13

Not the only one who shakes his head

So: on Friday, the Šešelj-in-waiting Tomislav Nikolić declared that if Kosovo were to be granted independence, Serbia should declare it to be "occupied territory," and should seek to recover it "by any means possible." But that is not all he declared. He also claimed that he had made an agreement with prime minister Vojislav Koštunica to just that effect in the event that a decision on independence were to come down. This would of course go beyond a case of Mr Nikolić saying publicly the sort of thing one expects him by now to say publicly, and spill over into Mr Koštunica owning up to what one expects that he thinks privately. So naturally, Mr Koštunica issued a swift denial, right? Wrong, actually. By Sunday night, neither he nor any government representative had given any confirmation or denial. The closest anybody came was Slobodan Antonić, an intellectual supporter of Mr Koštunica, who told Danas that "Vojislav Koštunica, as is well known, has the custom of nodding his head and occasionally saying yes, which his interlocutors interpret as agreement, but afterward find out that that was not really the case." So we are happy to have been able to clear that one up.

PS: While Mr
Koštunica may be as enigmatic as the Buddha, he is not as long-suffering as Jesus Christ. That role belongs -- of course! -- to Silvio Berlusconi.

5 comments:

Chudak said...

This is pretty disturbing stuff ~ it seems that if Kostunica were to ally with the Radicals, that could be a fairly strong coalition...?

Eric Gordy said...

You can never predict the future, but one scenario for a majority government might be:

SRS - 30%
DSS - 15%
SPS - 5%

That would be a fairly strong coalition, and disturbing!

Anonymous said...

Back when this government was elected (and can you believe they've lasted almost two years?) the numbers went like this:

Radicals 81 seats
DSS 53 seats
Socialists 22 seats

Total 156 seats out of 250

I'm sure those numbers have shifted, but I doubt they've shifted by much.

Actually, if Kostunica hops into bet with SRS, they could throw the Socialists overboard and still rule.

Will he? Well, losing Kosovo will give him the perfect excuse. And he'll probably be desperate to put off the next election, since the polls show DSS will take some serious damage.

I still have trouble believing it, though. Kostunica is stubborn and rather dopey, but he despises the Radicals, and he knows that he'll instantly make Serbia an international pariah again if he brings them into government.

Possible, but IMO not at all likely.

More probable scenario: gov't collapses, new elections, Radicals win around 40%, nobody else gets as much as 25%, and it becomes impossible to form a government without them.

Kosovo could cause this, no question. Very much depends on how it's finessed.


Doug M.

blahblahblah said...

Blah Blah blah. The Radicals are full of shit, if they actually get into power they'll be just like DS and DSS, with a bit of fiery rhetoric to try to keep their supporters. The government doesn't actually run Serbia, they just do what the EU/IMF/US tell them to. Just look at Koštunica, as soon as he got into power all those guys were off to the Hague, despite all the promises that got him in ;)

Eric Gordy said...

Esta, I think that this is the impression the SRS has ben trying to create under Nikolic, that they are not so different from the other parties and that the worst thing about them is that they may be corrupt. Nikolic can't always pull it off, sometimes he goes back to his old habits, like trying to arrange a new war just now. But then the whole business is helped along by people from the "respectable" parties showing that they do not think so differently.

Not very reassuring, but I expect we will have a chance to find out what might happen if they get into power. A not very bold prediction: if it happens, then like every other government, they will lose a lot of support within a year or so.