Valerie Hopkins (@Valeriein140), a Kosovo-based journalist, is a member of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
PANCEVO, Serbia — The Serbian presidential elections are on Sunday, and the runner up is a 25-year-old parody candidate. Polls have current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic as the front-runner by a wide margin in the 11-man race for the presidency, but the character in second place says almost as much about the political scene in the Balkan country as the wide margin between them.
That’s because it’s Luka Maksimovic, a communications student who doubles as a comedian, who has chosen to run as a parody of the ruling elites who he says have run Serbia into the ground since the collapse of Yugoslavia and the 1999 NATO bombing campaign to stop Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
Photo: Student and presidential candidate Luka Maksimovic, right, also known as “Beli,” receives a gift before his campaign rally in Mladenovac, Serbia, on March 30. (Antonio Bronic/Reuters)