Last week, on 21 June, Serbia held parliamentary elections. Commenting on these elections, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said:
“These elections were neither free nor fair and I’m disappointed that no liberal party was able to enter Parliament. Turnout was less than 50% and this is a clear sign to me that the electorate voiced their opposition to this vote by not turning up and choosing not to risk their health in the current coronavirus circumstances.”
“My fear now is that with the ruling party consolidating power, holding such a majority, and potentially facing an absence of parliamentary opposition and scrutiny, this result will ultimately harm democracy in the country, undermines public trust, and the opposition will be on the streets and not in Parliament.”
“Political parties and movements in Serbia with a pro-European, liberal, and democratic profile will be supported by ALDE and LIBSEEN in the years to come because we want to have a dialogue with them for the benefit of Serbia, its citizens, and the European Union as a whole.”
ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, added: "Unfortunately, the election in Serbia produced a very disturbing result. Voter choice was limited by the governing party’s overwhelming advantage and the promotion of government policies by most major media outlets. The boycott of many opposition parties gave Mr Vucic the absolute power with 2/3 majority in the parliament and I hope he will not use this opportunity to undermine democracy in the country. The ALDE Party will continue its work with liberal parties and movements and will closely follow the situation in Serbia because European future of the state should not be put in doubt."
Roman Jakič, Chair of Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN), added: “according to what I have seen and read during election campaign, the election was characterised by intense political polarisation, amidst a boycott by a considerable section of the opposition including one LIBSEEN member party (Gradjanska platforma) while three of them (Pokret Slobodnih Gradjana, Nova Stranka, and Koalicija za mir) did run but unfortunately did not reach 3% of a threshold.”
“International observers stated that while contestants in Serbia’s parliamentary elections were able to campaign and fundamental freedoms were respected, voter choice was limited by the governing party’s overwhelming advantage and the promotion of government policies by most major media outlets.”
“Together with ALDE Party and our supporters we need to immediately start working with our member parties and liberally oriented partners in Serbia in order to be prepared to participate in and win the seats in the Parliament at the next general elections.”