Serbian opposition leader Dragan Djilas said a review of the country’s electoral rolls by international institutions would not create the conditions for the opposition to take part in elections.
He said the opposition could take part in elections only it the clear demands of its expert team were met.
“Orderly electoral rolls are just a small part of that. We need free media for elections. We can’t have free media when (the investigative news portal) KRIK publishes a documented story which 60 per cent of people in Serbia never heard of because the RTS (state TV) and other media don’t report it,” Djilas told a news conference.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday that the government would invite representatives of relevant international institutions to review the electoral rolls five or six months prior to elections which Djilas claims is a trick.
When asked if his party would take part in the elections after Vucic announced that electoral lists would be reviewed, Djilas replied simply with a “no”.
“The opposition’s stance regarding the conditions for free and fair elections is clear, and electoral lists are only “a small screw in big machinery “. It will suit Vucic if the number of voters declines in the case of the opposition’s boycott. Fair and just elections are impossible without free media. Opposite of the free media is when KRIK publishes an article about the Minister of Finance’s brother and TV Pink invites Serbian President to comment on that, while RTS doesn’t even report about it and 60% of people in Serbia have no idea what is going on,” Djilas says.
The President of the People’s Party, Vuk Jeremic said that the Alliance for Serbia would boycott the elections if the proposals made by a group of experts were not met, while the Democratic Party leader Zoran Lutovac added that the foundation of the French and American revolutions was the right to a secret and non-coercive voting which still does not exist in Serbia, 200 years after the said revolutions.
“After seven years of the SNS-led government, Serbia is a partially free state, where political opponents are treated as enemies to be destroyed,” Jeremic added.
Jeremic also noted that Vucic’s invitation is “fraudulent”, since ODIHR should be invited to come and perform the complete monitoring at least six months before the elections take place, which means that their experts remain in Serbia all that time also supervising the work of the media. “Serbia is an autocracy, an imprisoned state, an enslaved state where people live worse after seven years of the Serbian Progressive Party rule,” Jeremic concluded.
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