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Opposition demonstrators clash with police at Belgrade town hall over alleged electoral fraud

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Tensions flared in the Serbian capital as opposition demonstrators resorted to flagpoles, rocks, and eggs to break windows at the town hall on Sunday, in protest of alleged electoral fraud during the parliamentary and local elections held on December 17.

The police responded with pepper spray to quell the unrest.

President Aleksandar Vucic’s party claimed a commanding victory in the elections, but international observers, including representatives from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), highlighted “irregularities” such as “vote buying” and “ballot box stuffing.”

Protests erupted in front of Serbia’s electoral commission building, persisting for days.

In a bold move, seven members of the main opposition camp, united under the banner “Serbia Against Violence,” initiated a hunger strike with the aim of annulling the election results.

President Vucic addressed the nation, assuring that those responsible for the incidents at the town hall would be brought to justice.

He characterized the scenes as dramatic, stating, “Scenes are dramatic because we are not used to someone breaking windows,” while emphasizing that no revolution was underway and predicting the demonstrators’ failure.

In response, Serbia’s interior ministry issued a statement urging demonstrators to refrain from violence.

The ministry revealed that prior to the elections, the police had warned opposition representatives of intelligence suggesting planned violent demonstrations and break-ins at institutional buildings.

The opposition leaders had allegedly guaranteed that such events would not occur, according to the ministry’s statement.

As Serbia grapples with the aftermath of the contested elections, the nation remains divided, and the international community closely watches developments in this unfolding political drama.

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