After publishing the reports about the falsifications at the snap parliamentary election in Serbia. representatives of the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) have been suffering from threats and have become the objects of disinformation attacks from the current government and pro-Russian accounts in social media. 

On the voting day, several CRTA observers suffered from physical violence at the polling stations. Following the publication of the report indicating severe irregularities (for example, voter bribery and organized voter migrations for election engineering) current prime minister Ana Brnabic, who has now resigned, accused CRTA of an attempt to destabilize Serbia and overthrow its constitutional order: “We heard insinuations, speculations, half-information, and all of it nicely packaged together for a political context that plays in their favor as was also the case in the election campaign”.

Moreover, a range of Russian-language accounts in social media joined the disinformation campaign against the observers, labelling them as “Banderovites” and condemning their citizen activity. 

OPORA sincerely supports its colleagues and their work aimed at spreading democratic values and practices and demands to stop any pressure related to the bona fide work of the monitoring organization. The ability to conduct public, independent, non-partisan monitoring of elections is one of the signs of a democratic governance system.

On December 17, parliamentary election took place in Serbia. According to its official results, the party of the current president Oleksandr Vučić, "Serbian Progressive Party", won, gaining 46.72% of the votes. The opposition alliance "Serbia Against Violence" took second place with 23.56% of the vote.

However, monitoring organizations — both the international mission with OSCE representatives and the local public network of CRTA activists — recorded violations of election legislation and falsification. This caused protests with demands to cancel the election results. In the end, the results in 35 polling stations were annulled due to irregularities or were never established, so a repeat vote was held on December 30, which still did not satisfy the protesters.

In addition, the situation with respect to international democratic standards in the elections in Serbia significantly worsened in 2020, which CRTA also informed in its reports based on the public observation campaign.

GNDEM Expresses its Solidarity with Observers in Serbia and its Concern over Attacks on CRTA

For reference

CRTA is a public human rights non-political and independent association of activists, journalists and citizens who seek changes for the better in their country. The organization shares the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and is a member of the Global Network of Election Observers (GNDEM) and the European Network of Election Observation Organizations (ENEMO).

Since 2016, CRTA has been observing electoral processes in their country, advocating changes to the electoral legislation, fighting to combat disinformation and popularize fact-checking regarding political processes, motivating voters to be more actively interested in political life, conducting information and educational campaigns in the media to motivate citizens to vote, monitoring the activities of the parliament and works on the publicity of open data arrays. The achievements of this organization in the development of democratic culture, public activism and protection of human rights were recognized by the OSCE "Defender of Democracy" award in 2018.