SDS and Petkovic: Staying out of the public to avoid threats and pressure

Foto: Arhiva/SDS

The campaign for Kosovo’s extraordinary elections is heating up. The elections are scheduled to be held in a matter of days.

Out of 28 political entities, three represent the Kosovo Serb community. Apart from SL, which is favored to win, the election race is joined by the Serbian Democratic Alliance (SDS) and the GI SPO („for freedom, justice, and survival“) – although newly registered political entities, their members are well-known figures on the Kosovo political scene.

The five member SDS list is led by Slavisa Petkovic, a politician from central Kosovo.

Petkovic, a 55-year-old lawyer from Uroševac, has a long career in politics. He worked as an assistant to former Serbian Vice President Nebojsa Covic at the time when he headed the then Coordination Center for Kosovo. In early 2005, he became the first Serbian Minister for Returns in the then Kosovo Provisional government and was an MP for two terms.

In addition to Petkovic, the SDS electoral list also includes Mihajlo Scepanovic, Jasmina Zdravkovic, Esada Redzepi from the Gorani community, and Srboljub Andrejevic.

„I am an accomplished person, I do not depend on the salary of any of the institutions, and that is the basic difference between me and the current politicians,“ he told KoSSev.

„Serbs cannot defeat Serbs. Only a certain policy can win. But in order for a certain policy to win, you must give us fair and free elections,“ Petkovic told KoSSev. 

In his words, Kosovo Serbs are devastated in economic, heathcare and education capacities. These are for SDS the three key problems of Serbian people in Kosovo.

The slogan of the Serbian Democratic Alliance sounds unusual: „Come and join the brave and the honest. It has the most room!”

In Petkovic’s words, the party wanted to use the slogan to describe what they see as the reality of the last 11 years since Srpska Lista came to power: „Theft and nepotism“.

„Employing family members, they themselves hold four or five jobs. South of the Ibar, the situation is catastrophic. We hear on television about some large investments in Kosovo by the Government of Serbia. We don’t see any of that south of the Ibar,“ says Petkovic.

Although Srpska Lista is the favourite to win, Petkovic is convinced his list will nevertheless win between one and three seats.

Still, they have no visible campaign apart from single visitsto his potential voters.

It is due to the pandemic and protective measures, but another important reason as well:

„We are trying to stay out of the public so that there are no more threats and pressures.“

This time, however, there has been no pressure from SL – he underlined, noting that there is a sense that residents, both north and south of the Ibar, have much greater freedom to vote for some other political options besides SL.

Petkovic says that he is against „long-term labeling“ among the Serbian people.

„We are not in favor of the Serbian-Serbian conflict, although the SL constantly emphasizes that Serbs are part of the SL and that everyone else is a traitor,“ Petkovic stressed, adding that he is „sick“ of labeling – „Thaci’s Serbs“ or „Haradinaj’s Serbs“. 

Petkovic revealed that he is aware of the messages coming from Belgrade – both from the Prime Minister and the President, about their unambiguous support for the SL – as the only political option they support to represent the interests of Kosovo Serbs.

It is unfortunate that after 22 years of everything we went through in Kosovo, we have a president and a prime minister who support one side, while the rest of us are irrelevant

Petkovic underlined that all Kosovo Serb parties are fighting to protect Serb interests, adding that he understands that the public in Serbia is „not informed“ about it.

„Politics requires dialogue, exchange of opinions and ideas, and not threats and blackmail,“ Petkovic told KoSSev.

Read more:

Trajkovic: SL is leading a “dirty campaign”

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