Belgrade protests against Serb president enter 12th week

Thousands of demonstrators assembled in Belgrade on February 23 to rally against president Aleksandar Vučić and the Serbian government.

This was the 12th consecutive Saturday that protesters have taken to the streets of the Serbian capital.

The demonstrators marched towards the headquarters of the country’s state television stations, chanting slogans calling for free elections and against Mr Vučić’s control over the media.

The protesters called on the president and the government led by his Serbian Progressive Party to resign and accused them of violating democratic and human rights in the country.

Those demonstrators attending the latest march were given medical masks, referring to the president’s recent visit to a hospital where he posed for a picture with a child diagnosed with cancer. Mr Vučić was widely criticised for the move and accused of using the sick child for political gains.

So far, the organisers of the protests have declined to join any existing political bloc, but agreed on cooperating with opposition politicians to enhance reforms.

Last week, the leaders of the opposition announced a boycott to attend national and local legislative assemblies to show support for the protesters.

But the protesters are also disillusioned by the opposition, claiming that it has done little to fight corruption and reduce poverty in Serbia.