The New York Times - Serbian Elections
"PETROVAC NA MLAVI, Serbia — Looking eerily like the Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a stout and stern-faced Ivica Dacic roused supporters crowded in a sports arena here this past week, promising to protect Serbs from the ravages of capitalism and warning that violence against Serbs in Kosovo was tantamount to an assault on Belgrade.
“This may be a small town but the red color lives on here,” Mr. Dacic, the leader of the Socialist Party, said Wednesday, alluding to the town’s proud working-class roots. “We speak Serbian so the whole world can understand you.” The audience of teens, retirees and coal miners roared approvingly. A loudspeaker blared the nationalist lyrics: “All you heroes, get ready for battle!
”As Serbs prepare to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections here Sunday, the charismatic Mr. Dacic, 46, who croons Frank Sinatra tunes and has invoked Barack Obama, Vladimir V. Putin and former President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia as his role models, has gained wide support by mixing patriotism, pragmatism and an appeal to social justice. In response to visceral public anger against the country’s crony politics, he has cannily upgraded Mr. Milosevic’s former slogan, “No one is allowed to beat you” to “No one is allowed to lie to you.”"