International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Serbia's opposition says illusion ends, election boycott only option

December 12, 2019

Vuk Jeremic, the leader of the opposition People's Party and the Chairman of the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) group, said late on Thursday that "tonight, the illusion (about a possibility to take part in the next spring general elections) ended," the Beta news agency reported.

He addressed reporters after SzS leaders met the Euro-parliamentarians who tried to mediate between the ruling and opposition parties in implementing some changes that would enable "a free and fair vote," and persuade the opposition to take part.

SzS boycotted all three rounds of talks in Serbia's Parliament but had separate meetings with European Parliament (EP) officials Tanja Fajon and Vladimir Bilcikand two MEPs.

Fajon, the former EP rapporteur for Serbia now chairs the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee while Bilcik took over as rapporteur. Both are involved in the talks on election conditions between the Serbian authorities and part of the opposition with former MEPs Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein.

The representative of the '1 in 5 million' organisation also met with Euro-parliamentarians on Thursday evening, and told reporters afterwards that the EP people “understood our message and were surprised with information we provided.” The organisation also advocates the boycott of the vote because the regime hasn’t accepted demands on changes of the election rules their expert team has drafted.

 After Thursday's meeting, Jeremic said "there was no dilemma about SzS decision to boycott the elections. We'll continue to fight for the change of elections' rules."

He added that the Euro-parliamentarians understood the message.

"As far as SzS is concerned this was the last meeting in this phase of the struggle for free and fair elections," Jeremic said.

He added that "the Friday's meeting with other political parties which take part in the dialogue will be a formal attempt to end a political crisis."

Jeremic thanked the European partners for trying but added there were no results.

"Only one man decides whether elections will be fair, and that's (Serbia's President) Aleksandar Vucic," he said.

Jeremic reiterated the opposition's demand for the postponement of elections.

Besides Jeremic, all other SzS leaders attended the meeting with Euro-parliamentarians.  

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a551948/Serbia-s-largest-opposition-group-say-no-dilema-about-election-boycott.html

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