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Maidan in Serbia. The elections ended in protests

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The OSCE said the party in power received an unfair advantage in Serbian elections due to media bias towards the opposition, the influence of Aleksandar Vucic and voting irregularities.

Early parliamentary elections were held in Serbia – the fifth since 2012. Along with local elections in most municipalities, the capital Belgrade and the northern province of Vojvodina. President Aleksandar Vucic’s ruling party declared its election victory, but the opposition disagreed, gathering protests and going on hunger strike.

Nice numbers

According to preliminary vote counts, the ruling right-wing populist Progressive Party of Serbia (SNS) won 46.72% of the votes in the parliamentary elections. The opposition bloc Serbia against violence received 23.56%, the Socialist Party of Serbia – 6.56%. Thus, the party of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will receive 127 seats in the parliament out of 250.

“It’s a complete success and it makes me happy,” Vucic said after announcing the preliminary forecast.

But the opposition does not agree with such results. They believe the vote was rigged.

Protests

The opposition alliance SPN announced serious violations of the electoral law in the Belgrade City Council elections. They, in particular, claim that in Belgrade more than 40 thousand people who do not live in the capital illegally voted in favor of SNS in the city assembly elections. Because of this, the opposition gathered their supporters for a protest in the Serbian capital. A line of protesters gathered in front of the Belgrade City Council building, from where they marched to the Republican Electoral Commission of Serbia, protesting against election fraud.

Protesters shouted “Treason,” “We will not give up the election,” “We will not give up victory,” and others. At a certain point, they started throwing eggs, tomatoes and toilet paper at the election commission building, but the organizers called not to do so.

Belgrade’s mayoral candidate from the Serbian opposition movement against violence, Vladimir Obradovic, said the participants planned to continue the rally “until their demands are met,” that is, holding repeated city ​​elections in compliance with democratic demands.

Two opposition candidates for the Belgrade city council have announced a hunger strike until the authorities make concessions.

Reaction in Europe

OSCE representatives said the ruling party received an unfair advantage in the elections due to media bias towards the opposition, the influence of Aleksandar Vucic and voting irregularities. “Election Day was marred by isolated incidents of violence, procedural irregularities and frequent allegations of organizing and manipulating voters to support the ruling party in the local elections,” the statement said. of the OSCE. In this regard, the German Foreign Ministry called such violations unacceptable for a country with the status of a candidate for the European Union.

Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Várhely also drew attention to the preliminary conclusions of international observers on the Serbian elections and said “with concern” that the process is “in need of visible improvement and further reform.”

They recalled that “the proper functioning of Serbia’s democratic institutions is at the core of its EU accession process.”

“We also expect that credible reports of violations will be investigated by the competent national authorities in a transparent manner. This also applies to allegations related to local elections in Belgrade and other municipalities,” the officials added .

Borrell and Varhelyi called on Serbia’s political leadership to “ensure a constructive, inclusive dialogue” with the participation of all political forces.

Source: korrespondent

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