BRUSSELS – In a letter to the leaders of the European Union, a group of European politicians has called for an independent investigation into electoral irregularities in Serbia by the European Parliament and, depending on the investigation results, a rerun of the elections.
The signatories have requested three measures: an independent investigation by the European Parliament, a list of recommendations based on the OSCE’s recommendations from previous elections, and a call for a rerun of the elections depending on the investigation results.
“In light of allegations of massive electoral manipulations during the Serbian parliamentary and local elections that took place on 17th December 2023, we call on the EU to conduct an independent investigation of all reported election irregularities and claims of fraud”, the letter states.
“Our common goal is to see Serbia as a member of the European Union within this decade. A necessary requirement for this is a functioning democracy and the rule of law. The massive electoral manipulations observed by the international election observation mission and independent civil society observers are clear violations of the principles of free, equal, and secret elections and incompatible with this requirement. This raises grave concerns about the legitimacy of the electoral results nationally, and particularly regarding the Belgrade City Assembly elections”, the letter continues.
According to the letter, these events and the state’s repressive response indicate a further escalation of autocratic tendencies in the country.
“This development includes Serbia’s continued cooperation with the Russian Federation regardless of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This poses a critical threat to the stability of the entire Western Balkans. If there is no common European response now, it will invite similar actions by actors in neighboring states in the future”, the letter concludes.
The letter, signed by 24 politicians from various European countries, mostly chairs of the committees on European and foreign affairs in national parliaments, was addressed to EC President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, President of the European Council Charles Michel, High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell, and Miroslav Lajčak, Special Representative for the Western Balkans.
Michael Roth, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Parliament and one of the signatories posted the letter on the social media platform X. He addressed the President of Serbia, stating, “Dear President Vučić, this is not a conspiracy or a socialist campaign. You are completely isolated! 24 high-ranking lawmakers from across Europe call on the EU to independently investigate electoral fraud and provide recommendations for free and fair elections in Serbia.”
Dear President @avucic, this is neither a conspiracy nor a socialist campaign. You are totally isolated! 24 Senior MPs from all over Europe call on the EU to investigate the fraud allegations independently and to make recommendations to ensure free and fair elections in Serbia. pic.twitter.com/9ayId0Mqq5
— Michael Roth – official (@MiRo_SPD) January 18, 2024