NewsThousands rally in Belgrade demanding annulment of 'manipulated' Serbian elections

Thousands rally in Belgrade demanding annulment of 'manipulated' Serbian elections

The Serbs took to the streets. The storming of the town hall in Belgrade is ongoing.
The Serbs took to the streets. The storming of the town hall in Belgrade is ongoing.
Images source: © PAP, X

9:16 AM EST, December 25, 2023

Police, using tear gas among other means, dispersed demonstrators trying to storm the town hall in Belgrade on Sunday, as reported by Reuters. The Serbian opposition accuses the authorities of irregularities and manipulations during the parliamentary and local elections.

Elections deemed "unfair and manipulated"

Opposition supporters, who form the majority of the protesters, have been requesting the cancellation of the election results since Monday. European Union and Council of Europe observers maintain that the elections were unfair and manipulated.

The main opposition force, the center-left coalition termed 'Serbia Against Violence', has appealed to international institutions and the EU to not acknowledge the election results and to initiate an international investigation into the issue.

Official data suggests that the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won 128 seats, and Serbia Against Violence secured 65 mandates in the 250-member National Assembly.

Approximately 2,500 protesters were reportedly present on the streets of Belgrade. The opposition is demanding a repeat of the vote, wherein the ruling party won a majority in the parliament.

Supporters of the opposition coalition Serbia Against Violence (SPN) made an unsuccessful attempt to break into the city hall in the capital on Sunday.

Two SPN leaders, Srdjan Milivojevic and Vladimir Obradovic, made an attempt to open the building door. To repel the protesters, police resorted to the use of pepper spray.

Lawyer Sofija Mandić, speaking to those gathered, called on Vucic to "transfer power peacefully". She also remarked that the government is currently "usurping" power.

Vucic denies charges of vote rigging

In an exceptional address to the nation on Sunday evening, Vucic blamed the riots on foreign interference.

"Those who vowed to fight violence have once again confirmed that they are the real thugs," stated Vucic.

"Vucic stole thousands of votes,” claimed Marinika Tepic, one of the protesters, while speaking to BBC journalists during Sunday's protest.

Germany has voiced concern, stating that allegations of improper electoral conduct are "unacceptable" for a country wishing to join the EU. Despite this, President Vucic continues to deny any rigging of votes.

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