Serbian Minority Leaders Trade Accusations

By 21 August 2016

The most prominent leader of Serbian minority in Croatia is criticized by Serbian Cultural Society leadership.

President of the Serbian Cultural Society “Prosvjeta” Siniša Ljubojević accused the vice president of the Independent Democratic Serbian Party (SDSS) Milorad Pupovac, who is the most prominent leader of Serbs in Croatia, of obstructing the work of Prosvjeta with the aim of monopolization of political and cultural institutions of Serbs in Croatia, reports tportal.hr on August 21, 2016.

Ljubojević reacted after the scheduled extraordinary meeting of the Prosvjeta general assembly on Saturday was not held due to the lack of statutory quorum – the meeting was attended by just 33 delegates. The total number of delegates invited to the meeting was 71. This happened because, as Ljubojević claims in a letter sent to members of Prosvjeta, the media and the public, Pupovac took some of the delegates to the premises of the Serbian National Council, where he is president, instead of to the premises of Prosvjeta.

The delegates were kept there for a while, which obstructed the possibility of holding the meeting of the general assembly. The goal was allegedly to “destroy Prosvjeta as the largest institution of Serbs in Croatia, which fosters the culture of the Serbian people and exercises the right on cultural autonomy”, wrote Ljubojević. “Pupovac thus seeks to prevent the activities of the Society and to even shut it down, which would allow him to monopolize political and cultural institutions of Serbs in Croatia and put them under his direct influence”, he added.

Ljubojević said that Pupovac was also trying to take over control over property worth tens of millions of kuna in the centre of Zagreb, which Prosvjeta recently received as part of the property restitution process. “This property represents our common and important resource. Due to the obstruction of the general assembly meeting, I can only assume that Pupovac is trying to take over control over the property, in order to use it not for common purposes, but for his narrow interests”, said Ljubojević.

Milorad Pupovac was not available for comment. Pupovac has been the most influential political representative of Serbs in Croatia for the last two decades. In this period, he has supported both left and right governments. His party regularly wins all three seats in Parliament which are reserved for representatives of the Serbian national minority.