Serbia Against Violence Coalition Splits Over Election Boycott, Impacting Opposition Unity

The Serbia Against Violence coalition has split over the boycott of Belgrade's elections, weakening the opposition and strengthening the ruling SNS party's position ahead of the 2024 elections. Protests and a hunger strike demand annulment of the results.

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Salman Akhtar
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Serbia Against Violence Coalition Splits Over Election Boycott, Impacting Opposition Unity

Serbia Against Violence Coalition Splits Over Election Boycott, Impacting Opposition Unity

The 'Serbia Against Violence' coalition has split over the boycott of the June 2 Belgrade and local elections, impacting opposition unity and the position of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) ahead of the 2024 elections. Hundreds of opposition protesters took to the streets of Belgrade on December 18 after the city's election commission indicated the SNS list of President Aleksandar Vucic had won the capital's municipal elections, with alleged irregularities in the process.

The Serbia Against Violence coalition called for the annulment of the Belgrade municipal election results, accusing the ruling party of illegally busing in people from other regions and outside the country to vote in the capital. The OSCE monitoring mission said Vucic's involvement in the election and pro-Vucic media bias made for a campaign that it deemed unfair, and Germany criticized the alleged irregularities as unacceptable for an EU candidate country.

Why this matters: The split within the Serbia Against Violence coalition over the boycott of the elections has impacted opposition unity and strengthened the SNS party's position. With the SNS expected to form a government on its own after winning an absolute majority in the parliamentary vote, the fragmentation of the opposition could have significant implications for Serbia's political landscape in the lead-up to the 2024 elections.

Ongoing protests against the election results have seen students and activists staging sit-ins and blockades in downtown Belgrade to challenge Vucic's 11-year grip on power. The opposition has also launched a hunger strike, demanding the annulment of the election results and new elections within six months, as well as an international investigation into the voting process.

The split within the Serbia Against Violence coalition and the ongoing protests underscore the deep divisions and challenges facing the opposition in Serbia. With the SNS party consolidating its power and the opposition struggling to maintain unity, the political landscape in Serbia remains uncertain as the country looks ahead to the 2024 elections.

Key Takeaways

  • Serbia's opposition coalition split over election boycott, weakening unity.
  • SNS party consolidated power after winning Belgrade municipal elections.
  • OSCE criticized unfair campaign due to Vucic's involvement and media bias.
  • Ongoing protests challenge Vucic's 11-year grip on power in Serbia.
  • Opposition fragmentation could impact Serbia's political landscape before 2024 elections.