Thursday, January 09, 2003

Judging by Looks

Judging by few photographs I have seen in various magazines, Nataša Micić (Natasa Micic), the acting President of Serbia, is an attractive woman. When I first saw the photo in Economist I thought that it got there by mistake, since Ms. Micić looks more like an actress or a fashion model than politician. It is very possible that Ms. Micić (or “Serbian Nicole Kidman”, as Economist had called her) got her job as Parliament’s speaker (and acting President by default after last year’s presidential election fiasco) for that particular reason. Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjić (Djindjic), whose party controls Serbian Parliament, couldn’t find any presidential candidate with credible odds against Djindjić’s arch-rival Vojislav Koštunica (Kostunica), extremely popular President of vanishing Serbo-Montenegrian Federation. Koštunica is popular among Serbian voters, but he has a serious weakness – lack of charisma. Micić looks like someone who is superior to Koštnica in that department and her brief tenure as Serbian President might be good starting point for her run at the upcoming presidential elections. However, it is doubtful whether the Serbian voters – who are still very patriarchal and conservative – ready for a woman at the helm of their country. But, in any case, Micić would earn her place in Serbian history books. She wasn’t just the first female leader of Serbia in the last two centuries; for a brief moment she is probably the world’s most beautiful head of state.

BTW, the latest issue of Economist features article that describes political situation in the Balkans with surprising degree of optimism. Serbo-Montenegrin election fiascos and the unsolved issues of their (dis)union are described as “bumps in the road”, while the great electoral comeback of nationalist parties in Bosnia gets hardly mentioned. Nor does the article even bothers to mention Bobetko affair and the rise of extreme right in Croatia. If Western perception of this part of the world is so clueless after so many years, few people should be shocked by the Western ineptness in early 1990s.


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