Kosovo Serb political landscape: Rada Trajkovic

Rada trajković za Tanju
FOTO: KoSSev

The essence of my politics is to break taboos, not to politically expose myself. I don’t think I will win Serb votes and support, but it is my job to unravel the politics of this evil. I am running a vampire campaign – I can only meet with individual voters at night because I am trying to avoid putting anyone in a position of being bullied – a „Freedom“ coalition electoral candidate, Rada Trajkovic said on the eve of early parliamentary elections in Kosovo. One of Kosovo’s most controversial political figures, Trajkovic claims that she spent the majority of her nearly thirty year-long political career being labeled a „state enemy“ for refusing to work for the „deep state“. „I am simply not a UDBA (The State Security Service – secret police organization of Yugoslavia) person and they have never been able to get me to work for these services,“ she also said. For almost two years, Trajkovic has kept the spotlight on the murder of Oliver Ivanovic – which is the mission of her third political life.

Ahead of the seventh extraordinary parliamentary elections in Kosovo scheduled for October 6, the Kosovo Serb political scene is divided over whether to participate in these elections, or not, while those willing to take a chance are confronted by the in so far major Kosovo Serb force – Srpska Lista. Such a political landscape seems rather confusing to the public. Three parties and one coalition – the „Koalicija Slobode“ (Freedom Coalition) representing the Kosovo Serb community have registered to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. They are comprised of 50 candidates in total, which the CEC verified on October 9. Here we present a who is who in this Kosovo Serb political landscape

A member of the ‘Freedom’ coalition at the moment, although not affiliated with a specific party, Rada Trajkovic distinguished herself over the years as a recognizable and one woman show political figure through her frequent media appearances.

Former radical and dismissed minister

Trajkovic was a member of the Serbian Radical Party during the 1990s and she also served as a Minister of Family and Child Care at the former Yugoslavia’s socialist and radical government before the 1999 NATO bombing. Trajkovic, however, was dismissed from the post after just some five months.

„Because I was against the war and the bombing and the conflict with the Albanians,“ Trajkovic explained for KoSSev.

According to this Kosovo Serb politician, months before the war, she „annoyed“ state structures by warning them about the upcoming war – while observing the KLA digging trenches by the roadside in Podujevo and noting an increased presence of Serbian police on those same roads, she further claimed.

“I noticed that the radicals were not a party but a branch of the Serbian service, and that was completely clear to me in Belgrade and I had been fighting them for twenty years. It is the essence of government – that parties are not parties, but branches of some services, which I find completely disgusting“ – Trajkovic said.

Trajkovic added that they used the first reason they could to dismiss her from the pre-war government and the party: „They used the fact I was caught between my ministerial and medical duties“.

„I was a surgeon for most of the week in Pristina, and I was in Belgrade from Thursday to Friday, they looked for any reason to dismiss me“ – she added.

According to Trajkovic, she was labeled as a „state enemy“ during the bombing but also most of the time she spent in the operating room.

„As head of the otolaryngology, I spent more time in the operating room than the men who were in the war at the time.“

Stoned for opening a postwar hospital in Gracanica

In her second political life, as soon as the bombing ended, she joined the newly formed Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo – at that time the most hated organization in the north of Kosovo. On the other hand, for the south, this organization was an attempt to form new Kosovo governance structures under an international umbrella, and to bring together „sensible Serbs“ – as they were presented at the time.

Trajkovic emphasized that she joined the council with the blessing of the church, along with former Bishop Artemije.

„I was the first Serb woman to enter that institution, which was terrible.“

At the time, along with the former Bishop Artemije and Father Sava, Trajkovic was one of the most hated persons in the north of Kosovo – a fact regularly reiterated at rallies.

„I was not allowed to leave Kosovo and Metohija for six months and longer. I could not see my children, precisely because of the threats of arrest. And my security was jeopardized in Kosovo and Metohija itself. I was protected by security forces, and I lost my salary from the medical school,“ she described what she went through at the time.

Trajkovic was stoned after she opened the first hospital in Gracanica with the help of the international community back in 2001, after the Serbian hospital center in Pristina was closed and Serbs escaped from the capital of the province.

„Serbs are treated and operated on at that hospital. After the opening ceremony, the socialists and radicals from Pristina stoned me. My entire back was bruised. I survived a lot,“ she stressed.

Kouchner

For years, the negative campaign led against Rada Trajkovic had been bringing into focus the same scene – a recording from 2010. At the time, when journalist Budimir Nicic asked UNMIK chief Bernard Kouchner about the „Yellow House” – along with Kouchner’s hysterical laugh and response – „You are crazy,“ Trajkovic’s cynical smile was also caught on camera.

Today, however, she told KoSSev that she did not laugh at the question itself, but because she “knew that the question was posed to compromise her”. Trajkovic also said that she refused to talk about this until now.

„I was the first to raise the issue of organ trafficking at a time when no one was allowed to talk about it. And for that reason, I also almost paid the ultimate price from the Albanians. Moma Trajkovic can confirm this. He was honest and revealed in a show that he himself did not know about it at the time I talked about it at our joint meeting with international representatives, which he and the former Bishop also attended. And in the end, I am accredited with something abnormal.“

In the first post-war convocation of the Kosovo Assembly – from 2001 to 2004, she was a member of the ‘Povratak’ (Return) coalition. This coalition, with twenty-two Serb MPs, was and remains the largest bloc of Serbs from Kosovo in the Kosovo parliament to this day, albeit at the time it was under provisional self-government institutions. Serbs came to the polls in large number following an invitation of the state leadership of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as the former Patriarch. The members of this coalition were then sworn in by the Patriarchate of Pec. Oliver Ivanovic was also one of the coalition members.

„I speak bluntly and accept the risks I am exposed to“

Trajkovic, however, also admitted that she „may“ be doing „some extreme things that are upsetting the people at the moment“ – similar to time she opened the hospital in Gracanica in 2001.

Somehow all this follows me. I am simply not a UDBA person and they have never been able to get me to work for those services. I am a physician who did her job in a professional manner and I have refused to cooperate with the deep state

„There is a continuity in the state’s behavior towards me. I am constantly suspicious and they accuse me. And I am just a person who speaks bluntly about what she thinks and I fully accept all the risks that I am, unfortunately, exposed to. The essence of my policy is to break taboos, not to politically expose myself,“ she explained.

Although claiming that she was „always exiled“, Trajkovic emphasized that the most important thing is that, to this day, the “non-transparent” structures “do not control” her.

“My work as a physician and a professor gave me the opportunity to say everything and not to think about a political career, because I had somewhere to come back to. I had my job, even when I temporarily lost it because I was punished by politics. But anyway, you have a slice of bread and they couldn’t control me – like they cannot to this today,“ she underlined.

„Rada from Savski Venac“

One of the phrases frequently associated with Trajkovic is „Rada from Savski Venac“, which implies that she lives as a rich woman outside of Kosovo.

Trajkovic replied: “Rada was born in Kosovo and Metohija, in all the wars, even in the last one, my family made real sacrifices. Just in the last war, a member of my family was abducted and to this day we do not know where he is. I avoid talking about personal sacrifices, I think it’s inappropriate to talk about them in a way that separates victims by priority. It is part of the Serbian tragedy and I have never wished to promote myself through my own sacrifices. Similar to the fact that I am not mentioning that I have a family property in Merdare near Podujevo, which my brother and my Vujacic family have not sold”.

„I don’t know where the Serbs live in the diaspora and yet they perceive Kosovo and Metohija as something of the utmost importance. I guess I have the right to defend Kosovo and Metohija and to spend most of my time in Kosovo. My son owns property in Savski Venac, but these are very dangerous messages that can endanger the safety of my children. But we live in a reality where only the children of the President can be happy and safe, while all the other children are not important, Oliver’s fatherless children or my children who are labeled where they are and what they are. For the most part, it’s this kind of evil policy that makes me run for office.“

„Srpska Lista’s victory would mean that the mafia is now Serbia’s state project in Kosovo“

Although she was labeled a state enemy for the majority of her political career and is, by her own confession, in a constant war with the so-called deep state, Trajkovic is still not giving up „politics.“ She is participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections and she recently launched her pre-election campaign at the site of the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic.

„Because Oliver was killed and, unfortunately, there is no person on the Serb political scene who would be determined enough and have the courage to fight the evil that is currently dominant through Srpska Lista and state politics in Kosovo. It was my obligation to continue that fight and try to show that the idea did not die with Oliver,“ she explained the reason for choosing to launch her campaign from the murder site.

Asked why she started the campaign by herself, without the presence of other members of the Freedom coalition, Trajkovic explained the members of the coalition agreed that they would all individually deal with certain priorities.

„Each of us individually nominated questions that were meant to reflect our reality, so within the coalition, someone in the campaign is now dealing with multi-ethnicity, others are visiting Serbs, and I have decided to emphasize the rule of law in northern Kosovo above all.“

„In this context, I wanted to show that Srpska Lista is not competent to receive the support of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija. Srpska Lista’s victory would mean that the Serb sacrifice evident in Kosovo and Metohija for the past 20 years has been compromised, because that would mean that the mafia is now Serbia’s essential state project in Kosovo. Srpska Lista, as the deliverer of that compromise, whose vice-president Milan Radoicic is known among criminal rings, cannot be what Serbs should present themselves with to Kosovo and the international public,“ Trajkovic said.

„Partition is not a solution, nor is Kosovo’s independence“

She acknowledged that she withdrew and returned to politics several times, adding that it is now important to preserve the Serbs in Kosovo and that there is a need to show boldness.

„That’s the point. For me to bluntly say that partition is not a solution, nor is Kosovo’s independence.“

“That evil should leave Kosovo with a political struggle”

„I do not think I will win the votes and support of the Serbs, but it is my job to unravel such a policy. I run a vampire campaign – only at night can I meet with individual voters because I avoid putting anyone in a position to be bullied. That is why I do not have a campaign, but I can only speak and show what strategy and stability the international community has supported. What evil and destruction the international community has brought to the whole of Serbia. That evil should leave Kosovo with a political struggle,“ Trajkovic concluded.

Trajkovic often points out in her interviews that she is only afraid of God. In who or what she has faith in when it comes to Kosovo?

„Only in the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has to actively participate in the talks, especially the Eparchy, because if it had not been for them, after the war, not as many Serbs would be left today. If it were not for the Church that preserved the property and, fortunately, did not allow Vucic to negotiate with that property, and if it were not for the property that is privately owned by the Serbs, there would be none left because Vucic had transferred all the property to Kosovo. The Church has also been recognized by the international community in Kosovo as a credible participant for the talks. I have great confidence in the SOC,“ she said at the end of the interview.

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