SERBIA: Serbian Progressives Win Parliamentary Election, Control of Belgrade in Question
Milica Stojanovic * Belgrade * BIRN * December 17, 2023 * 23:45
Courtesy of Balkan Insight [https://balkaninsight.com]
According to preliminary results, Serbia’s ruling party easily won legislative elections on Sunday – but it remained unclear who will control the city assembly in the capital.
The ruling Serbian Progresive Party won Sunday’s legislative elections with 46.6 per cent of the votes, or 129 of the 250 seats in parliament, preliminary results by the election observer NGO CESID announced. The opposition coalition Serbia against Violence won 23 per cent, or 63 seats.
“We will have an absolute majority in parliament with 127 seats,” President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters.
The result was less clear-cut in local elections in the capital, where the ruling party won 39 per cent of the votes for the Belgrade City Assembly, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the media on Sunday evening, narrowly beating Serbia against Violence, which won 34.1 per cent.
The right-wing coalition NADA, current junior partner in the ruling coalition, the Socialist Party of Serbia and list lead by controversial doctor Branimir Nestorovic also won seats in the Assembly. The Assembly has 110 seats and at this point it is not clear who will form the ruling coalition. Vucic said a new ruling coalition depends on Nestorovic’s decision, about who they want to form a ruling majority with, and whether another right-wing coalition, of Dveri and Zavetnici, wins seats.
One of the Serbia Against Violence coalition leaders, Miroslav Aleksic, claims that a very small percentage from Belgrade polling stations is counted but they show this coalition and SNS “won the same percentage.”
In the legislative elections, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, the Socialist Party of Serbia, won 6.9 per cent, or 19 seats, the far-right NADA coalition won 4.9 per cent, or 13 seats, and the list lead by Nestorovic won 4.8 per cent of the votes, or 13 seats.
Both Serbian election observer NGOs, CESID and CRTA, reported numerous irregularities during the day. CESID reported taking photos of ballots or recording the voting process itself, family voting, as well as minor incidents and verbal conflicts and pressure on voters in some voting places.
CRTA also expressed “the highest concern” over allegations that illegal voters were bussed into Belgrade from other countries.
“The concentration of buses, minivans and cars was observed on several spots in Belgrade, transferring voters to polling stations across the city to vote,” the election watchdog said.
Police arrested one person suspected of demolishing the car of one of the CRTA monitors in Odzaci,. CRTA also reported numerous problems.
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