During protests in Belgrade on Sunday over alleged election fraud, Serbian opposition demonstrators attempted to storm Belgrade city hall, breaking windows with flagpoles, rocks, and eggs. The police used pepper spray to push them back, preventing their entry.
Around 10:00 p.m. local time, the police dispersed the crowd.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated that two police officers were severely injured, more suffered light injuries, and over 35 individuals were arrested.
Vucic characterized the events as an attempt at a “forcible takeover of state institutions” and claimed evidence of premeditation. He emphasized the importance of protecting the country’s property and citizens.
On December 17, Serbia conducted parliamentary and local elections, with President Aleksandar Vucic’s party claiming a significant victory.
However, international observers, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), reported irregularities such as “vote buying” and “ballot box stuffing.” These allegations led to protests and a hunger strike by seven members of the main opposition camp, demanding the annulment of the results.
President Vucic stated that the state would arrest and prosecute those responsible for the incidents in front of city hall.
President Vucic addressed the dramatic scenes in a special message to pro-government Pink TV, stating, “Scenes are dramatic because we are not used to someone breaking windows.” He emphasized that no revolution was occurring and that such attempts would not succeed.
Serbia’s interior ministry issued a statement urging demonstrators to avoid violence. The ministry claimed that the police had previously warned opposition representatives about intelligence indicating planned violent demonstrations and building break-ins. At that time, opposition leaders had allegedly assured that no such events would occur.