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Protesters Attempt to Breach Belgrade: Challenging Serbia’s ‘Stolen’ Elections?

Demonstrators in Serbia have recently made headlines after attempting to storm the Belgrade city hall in protest against what they claim were stolen elections. The protests took place on the 10th of April and were said to be one of the biggest demonstrations since the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Belgrade waving Serbian flags and singing national anthems in a show of unity. The protests were prompted by claims that the elections, which were held earlier this month, were rigged in favor of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and their leader and current president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. The demonstrators alleged that the SNS had used their power to manipulate the election, including the sending of biased exit polls and the exclusion of opposition candidates from the campaign coverage. The protesters also accused the government of blocking the distribution of official ballots in areas where the SNS was not popular. The demonstration in Belgrade is part of a series of protests that have occurred in other cities throughout Serbia including Nis, Novi Sad, and Zajecar. The protesters demand new elections that guarantee a free democratic process as well as an investigation into the alleged fraud that took place during the April 10 vote. The European Union has also voiced its concern over the proceedings, calling on the Serbian government to respect the democratic process and to ensure that free and fair elections take place. Nonetheless, Serbia’s government has denied any wrongdoings and has insisted that the elections were conducted within a legal framework. Despite the claims of fraud and the accusations the government has faced, President Vucic is expected to remain in power for the time being. However, the opposition has vowed to continue the fight for democracy despite the opposition’s expected victory in the election. These protests, and the resulting backlash from Serbia’s citizens, could be the tipping point for change in Serbia’s politics.