10 Jan, 2024

Serbian liberals protest irregular election result

On 17 December, Serbia held snap parliamentary elections to elect members of the National Assembly, as well as provincial and local elections in 65 cities and municipalities including the capital Belgrade and the autonomous province of Vojvodina. 

ALDE Party member Pokret slobodnih građana (PSG) ran as part of the opposition coalition “Srbija protiv nasilja” (Serbia against violence), which received 24.32% of the national vote. 

However, several observer missions from the likes of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe reported instances of ballot stuffing, vote buying, pressuring voters, group or family voting and illegal voting, putting the conformity of the results in doubt. 

A mission led by the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) declared that the vote tally in Belgrade, where the ruling party led by several percentage points, largely stemmed from illegal electoral engineering. 

The results were largely contested on a national scale and led to days of protests against the ruling party SNS and President Aleksandar Vučić. 

ALDE Party member party PSG and the coalition “Serbia Against Violence” demand that the Belgrade Assembly elections be annulled and repeated as quickly as possible, freely and fairly, in line with European standards. 

“We achieved a significantly better result in the republican elections than the previous year, but unfortunately not good enough for us to be in a position to change Serbia,” said PSG party leader Pavle Grbović.  

“I feel sorry for all the brave citizens who have resisted for years and do not agree to compromise with evil and injustice, you did not deserve this outcome. 

"The elections in Belgrade were decisively influenced by citizens who do not live there. We cannot and will not agree to such an outcome. We knew about a huge number of irregularities, but we believed that despite that we could win. 

“In the end, our list won a huge percentage of votes, but the electoral will was reshaped. Unfortunately, we were left alone in this fight because no institution in Serbia stood up to protect citizens, neither the police nor the prosecutor's office. On the contrary, they protected and enabled electoral fraud. 

“That is why we have neither the intention nor the right to give up the fight, both for this and for all future elections. It is not and will never be the time to surrender and that is why we will not give up the fight for what we as people deserve, which is victory.” 

Photo: Pokret slobodnih građana 

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