Monday, September 20, 2004

Fiasco of Serbia's Berlusconi?

The only Serbian TV station offered by local cable operators in Split is BKTV, owned by Bogoljub Karić (Bogoljub Karic), Serbian business tycoon. Karić has recently directly entered politics by running as an independent candidate on the last presidential elections. He didn't have a chance of winning or even entering the second round, but his 15 % success was at the expense of DSS, moderate conservative party of prime minister Vojislav Koštunica (Vojislav Kostunica). This success apparently led Karić to try something similar by founding his own party called Pokret Snaga Srbije (Strenght of Serbia Movement).

The name of the party is somewhat familiar to those who follow European politics. It is almost the same as Forza Italia, party founded by media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi who would later become prime minister.

Just like Berlusconi, Karić used his media empire to heavily promote his new party. At least this was impression given by BKTV content, stuffed with Karić's promotional clips and extensive coverage of his pre-election rallies.

Judging by the preliminary results of local and regional elections, Karić would have to work much harder before becoming Serbian Berlusconi. In many important cities and municipalities his party barely managed to push 3 % electoral tresshold. This would probably put Karić's men in most of Serbia's local assemblies, but small number of those assemblymen is in sharp contrast with pre-election media blitz.


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