We, the undersigned civil society organizations, draw attention to the inadmissible violation of the human rights of all citizens of Serbia in the entire electoral process carried out in Serbia, from the moment of the announcement of extraordinary parliamentary and local elections on November 1, 2023, through the electoral actions of the Republic Electoral Board and the City Electoral Board for the city of Belgrade that followed and culminated in the very election day of December 17, 2023.
The elections that were held cannot be assessed as fair - nor as free in relation to a certain number of citizens, and as such they cannot uphold the real will of the citizens of Serbia, which consequently undermines the legitimacy of the institutions that would be formed based on the results of these elections, as well as the legitimacy of all future decisions they would make. Serious irregularities, numerous abuses, violations of electoral rights, rules and procedures, reports of election controllers and materials that reached the public before and during election day, problems with voter lists and electoral lists that the City Electoral Board declared valid despite serious doubts that they were based on falsified declarations of voter support (as many as 7 out of a total of 14 electoral lists) completely delegitimized the elections.
International observers of the joint observation mission of the OSCE and ODIHR, which were also attended by representatives of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, pointed to the irregularities during the electoral campaign manifested in the corruption of the media with national coverage, absolute domination in the media of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and attacks against journalists and civil society organizations. Even on the voting day itself, they observed examples of inadmissible group voting, pressure on voters and buying of votes, forged ballots in boxes and examples of so-called phantom voters.
Although elections in a democratic society represent a mechanism through which citizens transfer sovereignty to their representatives in the Republic and local parliaments, the election process marked by the above-mentioned irregularities can only confirm that civil sovereignty in Serbia has been stolen from its citizens. In such a situation, the non-reaction of institutions to violations and abuses of rights and procedures leads to the devastating conclusion that citizens are left to themselves and the streets in protecting their rights and building institutions. Therefore, it is not surprising that disgruntled citizens gather in the streets and - through their political rights to assembly and expression - manifest serious disagreement with the electoral process carried out so far and, as holders of sovereignty, demand that the Constitution and laws of Serbia apply to everyone and be respected.
We believe that in the elections held on December 17, the electoral will of the citizens was not respected and that the competent institutions must consider canceling and repeating the elections at the Republic and local level under conditions in which the aforementioned irregularities and faults have been eliminated. Only in this way will the institutions of Serbia show that they respect the principle of the rule of law and the electoral will of the citizens of Serbia.
- Atina NGO
- Autonomous Women's Center
- Belgrade Center for Security Policy
- Belgrade Center for Human Rights
- Center for Dignity of Work
- Center for Cultural Decontamination CZKD
- Center for Contemporary Politics
- Cepris Center for Judicial Research
- CRTA (LINE)
- European Movement in Serbia
- Civic Initiatives
- Youth Initiative for Human Rights
- Initiative for the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities MDRI-S
- New Optimism
- Partners of Serbia
- PIN (Psychosocial Innovation Network)
- Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation
- SOS Women's Center
- Crocodile Association
- Peščanik Women's Association
- Yucom Center
- Center for independent living of persons with disabilities of Serbia