|New face, same promises: Nikolic in Brussels|
On the other hand, the Imperial media are using his election as the opportunity to demonize Serbia once more (not that they need much of an excuse). In turn, Nikolic's handlers are invoking this to tell the confused Serbs, "Look, he's a nationalist! He's not actually a quisling! He's just pretending to be a quisling so he can fool the Empire. Trust him!"
If that's an act, give the man an Oscar right now.
Meanwhile, the cabinet talks are still ongoing. Yesterday a tabloid owned by the Democrats (most of them are) claimed that an agreement was reached for a grand coalition of the Democrats, Socialists, Liberal-Democrats and United Regions (reference my handy guide to Serbian politics if this is confusing). The rumor was never confirmed, but it spread through Serbia like wildfire. Meanwhile, the Progressives are talking to the Socialists and, well, whoever.
No doubt there will be someone from the previous government in the new one, making Serbian politics much like those of the Bosnian Federation. In other words, even if someone had in mind to reform the system, there's no way that can be done in a precarious coalition with a partner that benefited from that system. Vojislav Kostunica and Zlatko Lagumdzija have had to learn this the hard way. I doubt Nikolic is even interested in trying.
Until a prime minister is appointed, however, Serbia's day-to-day affairs are run by the previous cabinet - only now the ministers have even less responsibility for their actions, because they are lame ducks. Whose policies are they actually implementing? The ones in effect before the May 6 general election? Those of their respective party leaderships? Those of the new President? Well, hardly, because the president isn't supposed to make policy. One can forgive the confusion of people who didn't know this, since all they've had to go on is Tadic, who notoriously violated that principle by staying the boss of the Democratic Party while holding the office of President, and essentially ran the country as an autocrat - albeit one teleoperated from Brussels and Washington.
Nikolic and the Progressives have shown nothing to indicate they had any sort of vision for Serbia, or even how they intend to do things differently. In the current vacuum, the Empire and the old regime are doing their best to ensure that even if they decided to try and untangle Serbia from the web of servitude to the Empire, they would never get a chance.
No wonder that a country where politics comes down to parties calling themselves Democrats, Socialists and Progressives is in such horrible shape. I don't know what sort of reaction might emerge to Serbia's corrupt, quisling oligarchy, but I wouldn't be the least surprised if it turned out to be decidedly non-political.