Thursday June 13, 2024

Serbia reruns local elections in capital

June 03, 2024
A protest in Serbian capital seen in this undated image.— AFP/file
A protest in Serbian capital seen in this undated image.— AFP/file 

BELGRADE: Serbia´s capital Belgrade on Sunday held a fresh round of voting in local elections, nearly six months after alleged irregularities and accusations of fraud marred an earlier vote.

The polls opened at 7:00 am in the capital and will close at 8:00 pm.

President Aleksandar Vucic´s governing Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is heading into the elections with momentum on its side, amid infighting in the opposition camp in recent months.

The coalition of opposition parties and candidates that campaigned under the “Serbia Against Violence” banner during elections in December proved a tough competitor to the SNS and its allies in the capital.

Belgrade remained an outlier in the election, which saw the SNS and its coalition partners win a commanding victory during parliamentary elections held on the same day.

The opposition won 43 of the 110 seats in the Belgrade municipal council, compared to the 49 secured by the SNS.

But after weeks of negotiating, the SNS was unable to form a municipal government and new elections were announced in March.

Local elections were also taking place Sunday in dozens of other municipalities around the country.

After December´s elections, international observers lambasted the vote over a string of “irregularities” including “vote buying” and “ballot box stuffing”, after the opposition accused the SNS of committing fraud.