European Parliament (EP) Standing Rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, said that he didn’t expect and that it would be unusual to expect any kind of international investigation into the results of Serbian elections.
Bilcik told in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) that it is up to Serbia’s institutions to eliminate any irregularities that might have occurred in the December 17, 2023 early parliamentary and local elections.
He said Serbia is a representative democracy, which organized its own elections in which both the ruling majority and the opposition took part.
Noting that it is important that Serbia take seriously the conclusions of the ODIHR election observation mission, Bilcik said he was certain that international institutions can work together with Serbia’s institutions.
He said he wants to encourage the Serbian authorities to fully cooperate with international institutions if any issues requiring their engagement happen to arise and added he believes it is in the best interest of Serbian citizens and voters that the electoral framework and its integrity be protected.
The EP Rapporteur also said there are issues that he repeatedly pointed out in his reports to the European Parliament and they include recommendations regarding the integrity of the election campaign and rules related to the pre-election period. These should be taken seriously so that such issues are not repeated in the next election, he said.
The international election observation mission to the elections in Serbia, led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), warned in its preliminary conclusions that the elections in Serbia were marked by pressure on voters, vote buying, unjust conditions for participants, favouring of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Domestic observers of the CRTA election watchdog said the election results largely stemmed from illegal electoral engineering.
(Radio Free Europe, 11.01.2024)
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