Elections in Serbia to be held on 26 April, biggest opposition parties boycotting

Opposition protest walk promoting the boycott of the 2020 elections; Photo: Twitter / Slobodnigradjani

BELGRADE – Regular parliamentary election in Serbia will be held on Sunday, 26 April, Secretary General of the President of Serbia announced. It is a date within the limits set by the Constitution, with previous election being held on 24 April 2016 and the Assembly constituted at the beginning of June that year.

According to the Constitution of Serbia, the President Aleksandar Vučić will dissolve the Assembly and call the parliamentary election. Local elections in the majority of municipalities will be held on the same date.

Secretary General of the President of Serbia Nikola Selaković said that he is “certain that there will be enough citizens to confirm an absolute legitimacy of the elections”, his comment possibly addressing the announcement of the boycott of the elections by the major opposition parties, who claim that there are no conditions for their fair conduct.

Opposition parties gathered in the Alliance for Serbia coalition (SzS), together with Free Citizens Movement (PSG) and several other smaller parties and movements, held a rally in Belgrade on 1 February, during which they proclaimed a declaration of the boycott of the elections and announced the “boycott campaign” across Serbia.

“We will continue to fight for free media and free and fair elections with all available and legitimate means, with the goal of democratising Serbia”, the declaration reads.

It also states that the formation of any government after the “fake elections” will be considered the “violation of the constitutional order”.

“We will continue the talks with the representatives of the European Union and other countries and organisations that support democratic values, freedom of media and fair elections”, the document also states.

According to the polls, SzS and PSG are only opposition parties capable of crossing the 5% threshold to enter the parliament. Some analysts believe this is the reason why the government has kicked off the procedure for lowering it to 3%, even though this element of the electoral system has not been discussed during the dialogue mediated by the European Parliament in the last three months last year.

The holding of the elections in April was represented as a concession by the ruling parties, who previously announced March as the more probable date. However, elections in March would have been early rather than regular, since the law prescribes at least 45 days of the campaign.