Opposition in Serbia Accuses Government of Fraud

(Daily360.com) – Add the nation of Serbia to the ever-growing list of places with contested and questioned elections. Serbia held snap elections back on December 17th, and the current ruling party the Serbian Progressive Party won by seemingly substantial margins. The SNS, the party of current president Aleksandar Vučić’s took 47% of the vote compared to 24% for the rival Serbia Against Violence Party (SAV).

Critics from the SAV say the election results cannot be trusted and there is a clear pattern of fraud and malfeasance present. At the root of the claims lies the city of Belgrade where SVS won by a large majority of the vote but officials from SAV say had the election been fair, they would have won. Borko Stefanović, an official with SAV said the vote numbers prove “captured institutions” and “electoral fraud” that has offset the will of the people.

SAV supporters say a number of non-Belgrade residents were brought into the city to vote fraudulently. Numerous officials of the SAV have gone on hunger strikes and street protests have led to at least 38 people being arrested or detained. SAV officials say the fraud is clear and the election must be re-run, if not for the whole nation than at least in Belgrade. As it stands now the ruling SNS party won 49 of 110 seats in the city assembly versus 43 for the SAV.

The Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability announced that their observers noted incidents of organized voter transpiration into the city, voter supervision, and potential identity manipulation of voters in about 14% of Belgrade polling locations. Opposition members vow to continue to protests until a re-election is held.

SAV is also asking international entities to get involved in order to bring attention to what may have happened, and to help quickly hold a do-over election. President Vučić has denied any wrong doing by his party, and he is calling those who oppose the election “thugs” and blames western nations for the encouragement of protests.

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