One week before the second round of presidential elections in Serbia, scheduled for May 20, 2012, one of the presidential candidates, Tomislav Nikolic, said that he needed to be president in order to tell journalists what to report on.
The web portal of the Association of Serbian Journalists (UNS) reported that Nikolic, who represents the Serbian Progressive Party, said on a May 13 2012 broadcast of the show Rec po Rec (Word by Word) produced by Serbia’s public broadcaster, Radio Television Serbia (RTS), that once he was elected president he would call RTS and say: “I am coming to the television tonight, you will inform about everything I do, I am the president of Serbia.”
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), expressed dismay at Nikolic’s warning.
SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said: “I hope that whoever wins the presidential elections in Serbia guarantees press freedom. I would like to remind both presidential candidates that press freedom is a pillar of democracy. They both claim to respect democratic principles and state that the future of Serbia is in the European Union.”