Tensions in Belgrade as Demonstrators Challenge Election Results

Southeast Europe | December 25, 2023, Monday // 11:28|  views

In Belgrade's city center, a multitude of Serbs gathered in a protest against the government, urging the cancellation of parliamentary and local elections. Earlier, President Aleksandar Vucic had disregarded the opposition's request to recount the votes, as reported by Reuters.

Preliminary results revealed the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SPP) won 46.72% in the recent early parliamentary elections. However, an international monitoring mission alleged unfair advantages favoring the SPP due to media bias, undue influence by President Vucic, and voting irregularities like alleged vote buying. Vucic, in contrast, asserted the elections' fairness, noted Reuters.

Serbian police employed pepper spray on protesters during the Belgrade demonstration, following an attempted breach of the town hall, home to the local electoral commission. Eyewitnesses described demonstrators scaling the building and breaking windows, as per the British agency.

The center-left opposition group "Serbia Against Violence" secured the second position in the election, capturing 23.56% of the votes, while the Socialist Party of Serbia secured third place with 6.56%.

During the demonstration, Srdjan Milivojevic and Vladimir Obradovic from the "Serbia Against Violence" coalition attempted to enter the town hall but were thwarted, with chants of "get in, get in" and "don't give up" echoing among the crowd.

Marinika Tepic, another member of the "Serbia Against Violence" coalition, commenced a hunger strike post-election, demanding the annulment of the electoral outcome.

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Tags: Serbia, elections, Vucic, protest


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