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The Serbian Radical Party

posted by dru Geography: Europe Serbia Topics: democracy, media

January 23, 2007

The Serbian Radical Party

The press has repeated, ad nauseum, that the Serbian Radical Party, which won a plurality of seats in yesterday's election, is "ultra-nationalist", and in a few cases "far right". Unfortunately, there's almost no information about their positions or policies, other than they're against European integration and the extradition of General Ratko Mladic to the Hague.

On the second point, it's hard to argue with them. If one wishes to enforce international law, the way to do it is not to set up a US-funded kangaroo court that refuses outright to try war criminals on both sides. That's not justice, that's a farce. Enforcing international law is a great idea; enforcing it selectively just means it's not law and it's not international. And it's hard to get excited about non-international non-law.

So much for that. What about the party's positions on other things? It helps if you can read Serbian.

There's a wikipedia page that isn't a lot of help, but notes:

The Radical Party's policies include implementing United Nations Resolution 1244 allowing Serbian police and Army to protect their citizens in the province of Kosovo, a NATO protected territory. The SRS has been part of a Government coalition with Slobodan Milošević's Socialist Party of Serbia during his presidency.

And then there is some very badly translated material on antiglobalizam.com, which is nonetheless interesting. There, party founder Vojislav Šešelj (who voluntarily presented himself to the Hague in 2003, and is still there, awaiting his trial for crimes against humanity) elaborates the party's "ultra-nationalistic" philosophy in a speech at an Iraq solidarity rally:

Brothers and sisters why we are today against globalisation. We are not against unity of nations. We are not against connecting people and states. Even opposite , we are for intensive connecting, various races, histories, cultures, people and states, differnet religions, views. We are for their mutual connections, cooperations, based on friendship and not interfearing in internal affairs, base at equality, non discrimination. This our goal for world.

Now, a lot of folks still find him a totally unsavory character, but it's all beside the point. Either the media exists to inform and aid in understanding a situation, or they subordinate that role to some other purpose. The total lack of substantial information is disproportionate to the huge amount of coverage currently coming out of Serbia.

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