Opposition Dveri movement to boycott Serbia’s spring elections

Opposition Dveri movement to boycott Serbia’s spring elections

Opposition Dveri movement to boycott Serbia’s spring elections Izvor: N1

Another opposition organisation, the rightist Dveri Movement, confirmed on Tuesday it had decided to boycott the spring general and local elections in Serbia, thus joining the People’s party which said last week it wouldn't take part in the vote, the Beta news agency reported.

The head of Dveri, Bosko Obradovic, announced earlier he would propose the boycott to the party’s leaders who accepted the move unanimously.

Last week the first opposition party, a member of the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) umbrella organisation, the People’s Party, decided not to run in the elections due in March or April next year.

Obradovic said the regime did not show any intention to cede to the #1 in 5 million anti-government civil protests’ demands regarding freedom of media and fair election conditions.

The bulk of the opposition accepted those demands and threatened to boycott the vote unless they were met.

The other opposition parties, members of the SzS,  and other outside the bloc are still to decide, some soon, some say they will wait until the elections are called, but it seems likely that almost the whole of the significant opposition will opt not to take part.

On Monday, the head of the opposition-held central Paracin municipality Sasa Paunovic said if his Democratic Party (DS) opted for the boycott of the general elections, DS would do the same at the local level.

The international community is generally against the vote boycott despite several warnings by the international watchdogs that the media freedoms and the rule of law in Serbia were far from those in a real democracy.

Some opposition leaders say they believe the West supports Serbia’s head of state Aleksandar Vucic because he has promised them to solve the Kosovo issue.

Vucic says he may accept some of the European Commission (EC) recommendations from its 2019 report on Serbia’s progress toward the European Union, but the opposition doesn’t believe that and also there is not much time for the changes it demands.

However, just the opening of the media under the tight regime’s control could make a significant change, the opposition believes.

According to Djilas, the announcement that the next EC report on Serbia will include recommendations for free and fair elections is an admission by the EU that there are no conditions for regular elections in Serbia.

On Monday, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and the EU Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister angered the opposition and one of the leaders Dragan Djilas said that McAllister “knows exactly what is happening in Serbia but refuses to call things by their real name.”

According to the statement from Vucic’s office following his Monday’s meeting with the EU official, McAllister said the progress in the Parliament's work was notable, adding the reform of the election law should be made.            

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