Vučić says he will no longer appear on public service until they guarantee not to quieten his tone

15 March, 2018

After Goran Vesić, a senior official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), claimed that he had his tone reduced while talking in a pre-election debate on Radio-Television Serbia (RTS), Serbian President and SNS leader Aleksandar Vučić threatened not to appear as a guest on RTS until they guarantee that they won’t also reduce the volume on him.

Vučić said he wants to sign a contract with RTS, in which he will write “that my man can be in the edit suite to see that they don’t touch the volume button”. He believes that alleged quietening of Vesić is “an incident and a brutal violation of the electoral process by RTS” or rather “a direct political attack”.

After having two expert teams conduct sound analysis of the debate, RTS issued a public statement concluding that they did not quieten Vesić’s tone.

Independent media coverage analyses otherwise show that during the campaign in the build-up to the 4th March elections SNS was convincingly the most represented political option in the media, and mostly in a positive light. Research carried out by organisation Transparency Serbia shows that during the first six weeks of the campaign, the frontpages of daily newspapers published the most positive articles about SNS representatives – 245 – which is 70 more than all other election participants combined.

Furthermore, during two days of the campaign, television coverage featuring the activities of Vučić and other officials lasted as much as four times longer than the airtime received by all other electoral lists (all 23 of them) combined.