About 5.1 million adult citizens live in Serbia, according to the data from the State Statistical Office. However, according to the electoral roll, as many as 6.5 million citizens have the right to vote. That difference is, in fact, in the 1.4 million citizens who are on the electoral roll, but do not live in Serbia, that is voters from the diaspora.
However, due to the complicated logistics of voting abroad, most of the voters of the diaspora stay home on election day, with only between 15,000 and 20,000 actually voting.
“There is no research to show who are these voters and who are they voting for. We can only presume that they are pro-European voters, especially those who left the country in the 1990s and later. In the meantime, a lot of older, manual workers have left Serbia to work abroad and their political affiliation is hard to guess,” says Dejan Bursać, from the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory.
“For example, if you are a Serbian citizen living in Germany, you need to register with the nearest Serbian embassy and they have polling stations in very few locations. This means that on election day you have to get in your car, drive, and wait in line to vote. All this requires time, money and knowledge, so the majority of Serbian citizens living abroad lose their will to vote,” Bursać adds.
In the last elections, held in April 2022, 30,133 Serbian citizens voted abroad, which is the largest number in the last 15 years.
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