President of Serbia Aleksander Vučić is expected to hold a counter rally in Belgrade today, following several large protests over
President of Serbia Aleksander Vučić is expected to hold a counter rally in Belgrade today, following several large protests over recent mass shootings.
The shootings occurred on May 3rd and May 4th , resulting in 18 deaths and leaving 21 people wounded. Opponents to Vučić’s populist government have accused his party of fueling hate speech, intolerance, and mishandling the government response to the shootings. Protestors called for the resignation of senior government officials and for the withdrawal of two private TV stations’ licenses, citing the latter’s proximity to the state and role in promoting violence, such as hosting convicted war criminals on their programs.
In response, Vučić told reporters that since May 8, over 37,000 illegal weaponry and explosive devices have been handed over to authorities, as part of a one-month amnesty for people to turn in unregistered firearms and ammunition in order to avoid potential prison sentences. He also announced he would work for the return of the death penalty to hold those responsible for the shootings.
In response to escalating tensions, Vučić may call for an early election in September. While a new government has the potential to enact chance, Vučić’s SNS party is expected to remain in power after landslide victories for the party in parliamentary elections of last year.