Serbia Progress Party (SNS) wins snap elections; controversy over Belgrade elections, claims opposition

Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won parliamentary elections held Sunday, Dec. 17, although predictably not without controversy, with the Serbian Against Violence coalition crying foul over the Belgrade vote.

The SNS was widely expected to win the elections on the back of the party’s long-time dominance in political spheres, the near omniscient presence of party strongman and Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic and a perceived advantage in getting its message across in the media.

That said, the opposition, which came together in the form of summer protests following May mass shootings was seen as a potential threat, having forced Vucic to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections.

Poll results gave the SNS 47 percent of the vote, with the Serbia Against Violence coalition trailing with a distant 23 percent. The fractured nature of the opposition also may have played a part, as some 18 parties took part in the elections.

The vote likely leaves the SNS with an absolute majority in Parliament, but on the Belgrade scene the results were much closer, with the SNS claiming 38 percent to 35 percent for Serbia Against Violence—and with Serbia Against Violence representatives stating that the local election was all but rigged, with tens of thousand of voters having cast their ballots despite allegedly not living in Belgrade or not having the right to vote there.

Serbia Against Violence Representatives have also said the party will not recognize the vote and that it will fight the result through “all legal means.”

Photo of previous Serbia Against Violence rally from Dec. 12 by Voice of America (Stefan Miljuš), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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