Serbia’s opposition to boycott election re-runs

Serbia opposition opposes election re-run

Serbia‘s largest opposition coalition “Serbia Against Violence” (SAV) declared on Tuesday its decision to boycott election re-runs in parts of the country, following over a week of protests against alleged electoral fraud.

Concerns over electoral fraud

The announcement comes just four days before the scheduled re-run on December 30 in 30 out of more than 8,000 polling stations. The main opposition coalition cited concerns over electoral fraud, specifically highlighting the alleged illegal voting by individuals from neighboring Bosnia in the capital.

International observers, including representatives from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), reported “irregularities,” such as “vote buying” and “ballot box stuffing,” prompting concern from several Western countries.

The official results of the December 17 parliamentary and local elections indicated a commanding victory for President Aleksandar Vučić’s right-wing Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), securing roughly 46 percent of votes. The leading opposition coalition secured 23.5 percent.

In response to the allegations and the official decision for re-runs, the “Serbia against violence” coalition stated, “The elections that will be repeated in a certain number of polling stations can’t annul the fraud, nor correct the injustice that happened on December 17. That is why we will not participate in the re-run.”

Ongoing issues

The coalition further emphasized the futility of voting amid ongoing issues, including hunger strikes by opposition members, arrests of political dissenters, and reported incidents of police violence against students.

As seven members of the opposition camp continue a hunger strike, daily protests persist in front of the State Electoral Commission. Recent demonstrations escalated, with Serbian opposition protestors attempting to storm Belgrade city hall, met with a heavy police presence.

On Monday, students organized under the “Borba” (Fight) movement initiated roadblocks in central Belgrade, demanding a revision of the electoral list. They have vowed to continue blockades unless authorities address their concerns.

The situation remains fluid, with Montenegro observing the unfolding events with keen interest.