The decision has come following opposition protests against the results of the vote held in December FILE PHOTO: A protest against the results of the election in Serbia’s capital Belgrade. © AFP / Andrej Isakovic

New local and parliamentary elections will be held in the Serbian capital Belgrade, the city’s acting mayor, Aleksandar Sapic, has said. It follows weeks of protests by the opposition, which has claimed widesp

Dobrica Veselinovic, who ran for the opposition ‘Serbia Against Violence’ alliance (SPN), hailed the announcement of the rerun as a “victory for the citizens who recorded and took pictures of fraud, [for the] observers, civil society” and all those against the government of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

“The next step: a joint struggle to improve the electoral conditions,” Veselinovic wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

According to official results, the ruling Serbian Progressive Party beat ‘Serbia Against Violence’ by 46.75% to 23.66% nationwide in the parliamentary election on December 17. But in a vote for Belgrade local assembly, neither side was able to win a majority, with SNS and SPN getting 39.93% and 35.39% of the ballot, respectively.

The opposition has been staging street protests since the election, which it claims was marred by vote buying, ballot box stuffing, and other violations. It also accused the government of bringing people from other areas so that they could vote in the capital.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued a report suggesting that the vote was “dominated” by Vucic, “which, together with the ruling party’s systemic advantages, created unjust conditions for contestants.”

Serbian authorities have denied the opposition’s claims, with the country’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic labeling them “unfounded, [and] unsubstantiated.” (RT)