New Belgrade’s Hala Sportova on Sunday hosted a gathering that marked the beginning of former Citizens’ Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic’s presidential campaign.

Those who showed up at the packed sports venue included the numerous public figures who previously signed an appeal to Jankovic to run, as well as officials from several opposition parties.

The mother of Aleksa Jankovic, a victim of bullying who committed suicide, addressed the gathering, as did Dusan Ivkovic, Serbia’s famed basketball coach, who was welcomed with ovations and who said that the country’s “civil class” has a candidate it can vote for, and should “wake up.”

New Party leader Zoran Zivkovic, Democratic Party leader Dragan Sutanovac, pop singer Vlado Georgiev and representatives of several organizations also spoke at the event.
When Jankovic himself took the stage, his message to the citizens was to turn out and vote in the presidential elections – “because, this is about us.”

“We know what we do, and what we do not want. There’s been enough humiliation, Belgrade Waterfront (Serbian: ‘Belgrade on water’) and Serbia (living) on bread and water, forged diplomas and aircraft, provocations, tabloids, coups, lies… this must not be a state of fear, a state where one goes to the doctor’s carrying one’s bribe instead the medical card, a state where there is no middle class, where those who cause it themselves then threaten with war, because that’s the only thing they know,” he said.

Jankovic also “promised that the Serbian Constitution will be in force.”

“Legal safety, social justice, independent institutions, free media… that is Serbia’s Constitution,” said Jankovic.

The presidential elections in Serbia, that are yet to be officially called and scheduled, should be held this spring.