Vucic’s ruling party projected to win Belgrade local elections

In a vote overshadowed by irregularities, Serbia’s ruling SNS party of President Aleksandar Vucic has won Sunday’s local elections in the capital Belgrade, the latest projections show.

The right-wing populist SNS garnered 52 to 53% of the vote, meaning it can expect to take 62 to 64 seats in the 110-seat city parliament, polling institutes Cesid and CRTA forecast late on Sunday evening.

The city parliament is responsible for electing the capital’s mayor.

Incumbent Aleksandar Šapic from the SNS, a former water polo player, is expected to garner a second term.

Local elections took place across Serbia in another 88 cities, municipalities and districts on Sunday, with the ruling party coming out on top in almost all of the votes.

CRTA election observers reported numerous irregularities. They said the secrecy of the ballot was frequently not respected and that they had grounds to believe that ruling party activists were often controlling the votes.

Vucic has been governing Serbia in various positions since 2
012. He has been accused of fuelling political hatred and violence and aligning himself with Russia and China.

In Belgrade and many other municipalities, the opposition is not united and some parties boycotted the election in the capital saying the conditions for a free and fair vote had not been met.

Belgrade initially held local elections on December 17, on the same day of Serbia’s parliamentary elections, but a stalemate in the city parliament meant no candidate received enough votes to be elected mayor, prompting a rerun of the vote.

Election researchers found that massive fraud on the part of Vucic’s power apparatus prevented the opposition from winning the December election.

Source: Ghana News Agency