Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has condemned a coup attempt in the face of violent protests that have taken place for the second time in a row in Belgrade and other cities in the country. What started as a protest against the government’s response to COVID-19 has since turned into an open rejection by the country’s president, Aleksandar Vucic.
At a press conference late Wednesday, the minister condemned the “gross violence” and claimed that “this is an attempt to take power without the will of the people, without participating in the elections”, referring to the elections of the past 21 years of June, when the President’s party prevailed.
Stefanovic appreciated the “completely calm and reserved behavior of the police despite the fact that the demonstrators threw stones and bricks at them”, according to local media B92. “They only reacted when their lives were in danger. They were attacked by everyone, including shovels and Molotov cocktails,” he said.
“Everyone has the right to protest,” added the minister, who encouraged citizens to “go to the polls, show their ideas, and not solve everything by force.” As previously mentioned, at least ten officials were injured while promises that both the courts and the prosecutor’s office would act against those who committed violence. He has also indicated that there will be patrols both in Belgrade and elsewhere where necessary.