OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
1:40 PM – Sunday, December 24, 2023
Serbian police used tear gas to stop hundreds of supporters of the opposition from entering the city council building in the capital in protest of what election spectators said were “widespread vote irregularities.”
On Sunday, thousands of activists gathered in the center of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, in an anti-government demonstration to request the annulment of parliamentary and local elections that international election observers claimed were “unfair.”
Preliminary results from the state election commission show that the ruling populist Serbian Progressive party (SNS) received 46.72% of the vote in last weekend’s snap parliamentary elections.
According to an international monitoring mission on Monday, President Aleksandar Vučić’s improper influence, media bias, and voting irregularities, such as vote buying, gave the SNS an unfair advantage.
On Sunday, Vučić announced that the allegations were false statements supported by the political opposition. In addition, he stated that the turmoil was instigated by foreign nations.
Speaking to the country amid the demonstration outside Belgrade Town Hall, Vučić referred to the protesters as “thugs” who wouldn’t be able to topple the government and declared, “This is not a revolution.”
On Sunday evening, the press announced that riot police with shields blockaded themselves inside Belgrade’s town hall and fired teargas as demonstrators slashed windows on the outside of the building.
The demonstrators yelled “open the door” and “thieves” as they also threw eggs at the downtown building. Some shouted “Vučić is Putin”, referring to the Serbian president and Russia’s leader.
With 23.56% of the vote, the center-left opposition alliance Serbia Against Violence placed second in the election, while the Socialist party of Serbia finished third with 6.56%.
Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries at the scene.
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