A leader of the Serbia against Violence coalition said the coalition “cannot…accept the results” of voting in Belgrade, where voters on December 17 were to elect a new 110-member City Assembly and smaller constituent councils.
On December 17, Serbia held snap parliamentary elections, which the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of President Aleksandar Vucic claimed to have won shortly after polls closed.
Election officials expected preliminary results of the voting to be announced in the evening on December 18.
Late on December 17, one of Serbia Against Violence’s leaders, Miroslav Aleksic, called for the annulment of the results of voting in the capital, Belgrade, accusing the SNS of “bringing in people from the outside” to cast ballots.
“People who are not from Belgrade were brought in to vote in Belgrade,” Aleksic said, adding that “40,000 identity cards were issued for people to come and vote with the citizens of Belgrade.”
As official vote counting began after polls closed, SNS deputy head and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic claimed the party’s polling indicated the SNS had won 47.1 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections, with Serbia against Violence polling 23 percent and the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) with 6.7 percent.
The nongovernmental Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID) and the Ipsos agency saw the results as being much tighter, saying its data showed that the SNS had won 38.4 percent of the vote, with the main opposition coalition taking 35.1 percent.
Daniel Serwer, a professor of politics at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, told RFE/RL that “there is no question” that SNS won the vote, which he criticized as “free, but unfair.”
“Vucic used the patronage of the government to reinforce his vote,” Serwer said and added: “He’s created a free, but not fair, electoral system which favours himself.”
The independent Center for Research, Transparency, and Accountability (CRTA) said on December 17 that it had seen indications that voters had been brought in from Bosnia-Herzegovina and other former Yugoslav republics.
(N1, Euractiv, 18.12.2023)
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