Authorities ordered police to do nothing about the opposition’s objections

On the day of the local elections, June 2nd, the Novi Sad police received orders “from the top” not to respond to reports by opposition members and citizens about events taking place at the Novi Sad Fair, where one of the largest so-called “call centres” of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) was uncovered.

A source from the high ranking Novi Sad police circles confirmed that the Novi Sad police had orders “from the top” not to respond to citizen reports or enter the call centre.

“The Novi Sad police were strictly ordered not to act when reports started coming in about election irregularities at the Fair. A decision was taken to stall with going to the Fair as long as possible, and strict orders were issued that, upon arrival at the fair, the police were not to enter the room where the SNS activists were located. I don’t know exactly who issued this order or whether it came from the top of the Internal Affairs Ministry or from political structures, I only know that I received information that the order came from the ‘top’,” the source told Danas daily.

As soon as the representatives of the opposition parties in Novi Sad noticed the SNS call centre at the Novi Sad Fair, at the very same place where the City Election Commission (GIK) was to count the votes a day later, they called the police to report this. They also demanded that the police come to the scene.

Calls to the police were made by many opposition activists and citizens, all of whom explained what was happening. However, they all got the same reply from the on-duty police officer: “I will notify my colleagues.”

The police showed up an hour and a half later, in three police intervention unit vehicles. When the activists and citizens approached the vehicle and asked the police officers to enter the call centre and check what was happening there, they said that was out of their jurisdiction.

Tensions increased, but the police just sat in their vehicles until the activists attempted to forcibly enter the room with hundreds of SNS activists in it.

That is when the police got out of the vehicles and formed a cordon in front of the entrance door. The people clashed with the police, following which more police officers and senior officials of the Novi Sad police arrived at the scene.

(Novi Magazin, 04.06.2024)

Photo credits: Beta – Dragan Gajic

This post is also available in: Italiano

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