Anti-government protesters attempt to storm the municipal Belgrade city hall
In Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, tear gas was used to disperse masses that were protesting alleged fraud in the general election that occurred last week.
Some members of the throng outside the city hall shattered windows and attempted to force their way inside before they intervened. Sunday, according to opposition activists, police used excessive force.
They assert that the elections gained by the ruling party were manipulated by the government. President Aleksandar Vucic dismisses the accusations as “falsehoods and nonsense.” Co-leader of the Green-Left Front Radomir Lazovic claims that he and several others were subjected to truncheon beatings by officers.
More than thirty individuals were arrested and eight police officers were injured during the demonstration, according to Ivica Ivkovic, the director of the Police department of the Interior Ministry.
Mr. Ivkovic stated that those detained are suspected, in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, of engaging in violent conduct at a public gathering and of attempting to disrupt the constitutional order violently. He further predicted that the number of arrests would likely rise.
Nightly peaceful demonstrations have transpired since the national and local elections of last week. Sundays marked the initial onset of violence. City hall was besieged by members of the opposition coalition Serbia Against Violence.
Two leaders of the opposition, Srdjan Milivojevic and Vladimir Obradovic, attempted to enter the building through the door. Pepper spray was used by the police to repel the protestors.
Leaders of the opposition suspect that agents provocateurs were responsible for the window shatterings that prompted the police intervention.
Sofija Mandic, an attorney, advised the assemblage that Mr. Vucic ought to “transfer authority amicably.” She added that the government was “usurping” power.
Protesters assert that the government transported thousands of individuals by bus in order to sway the vote in the city elections of Belgrade. They desire that the poll be re-posted.
The Serbian Progressive Party, led by Mr. Vucic, regained authority in parliament with a majority following the vote.
Observers from both within and outside the country have documented “irregularities.” Accusations of ballot box stuffing and vote purchasing have been made.
Sunday evening, during an urgent address to the nation, Mr. Vucic attributed the disturbance to external intervention.
In order to gain control of Belgrade, the opposition had intended to prevent the ruling party from gaining a majority of the votes. However, the official results, which were quickly criticised by opposition figures as being dishonest, demonstrated that the opposition had not been successful in achieving either of its goals.
In response, it has been organising protests on a daily basis. Seven prominent members of the opposition have embarked on a hunger strike. During the demonstration that took place on Sunday, one of the hunger strikers, Marinika Tepic, stated that “Vucic stole thousands of votes.”
Wednesday was the day when the electoral commission made the announcement that the election would be re-run in around thirty of the eight thousand polling sites across the country.
Allegations of electoral malfeasance were deemed “unacceptable” by Germany, which is a country that is working towards joining the European Union.