ANI Photo | Thousands protest in Serbia alleging election fraud by governing party

In the largest protest over this month’s parliamentary and municipal elections, thousands of protesters have gathered in Serbia’s capital, calling for the annulment of the results and accusing President Aleksandar Vucic’s governing party of perpetrating an election fraud, according to Al Jazeera.
The massive gathering in the heart of Belgrade on Saturday capped almost two weeks of protests in the streets over major irregularities that were reportedly observed during the vote on December 17 and were also observed by foreign observers.
Preliminary results from the state election commission showed that the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) had 46.72 per cent of the votes and was proclaimed the election winner.
However, Serbia Against Violence, the principal opposition alliance, has asserted that the election was rigged, especially in the vote for the city of Belgrade officials.
The leader of the Serbia Against Violence coalition, Marinika Tepic, who has been on a hunger strike since December 18, was greeted by demonstrators carrying Serbian flags and holding a banner that said, “We do not accept,” according to Al Jazeera.
Since December 17, Serbia Against Violence has spearheaded daily demonstrations calling for a repeat of the election.
Following violent occurrences and the arrest of opposition supporters at a rally last weekend, tensions have escalated. Student organisations and a group of public leaders, including well-known actors and thinkers, called ProGlas, or “pro vote,” supported the demonstration, reported Al Jazeera.
According to Vucic, his party won and the elections were fair.
He said that the opposition was encouraging violence during demonstrations in an attempt to topple the government on orders from overseas, a claim that opposition leaders have refuted, according to Al Jazeera.
Though the Balkan country has maintained tight links to Moscow and has declined to join Western sanctions placed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, Serbia is formally pursuing membership in the European Union.

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