Right-Wing Member Of Serbian Parliament Leads Protest Ahead Of National Elections
By RFE/RL's Balkan Service June 21, 2020
BELGRADE -- Several hundred people demonstrated in front of Serbia's parliament building in Belgrade on June 20 in an action led by the right-wing independent member of parliament Srdjan Nogo a day before national elections.
Nogo said the elections were not legal and called on citizens to elect members of the 250-seat parliament who would change the constitution among other demands, including that the government call off the elections.
The demonstrators also say they will not disperse until they can enter the National Assembly.
Nogo and some of the demonstrators tried to enter the National Assembly building, but police stopped them. Nogo, however, was allowed to enter alone and soon exited.
The people who were gathered outside held banners that read "Kosovo -- no surrender" and shouted, "Send migrants home," and "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia." They also sang nationalist songs.
Nogo also sent a message to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that, if anyone gets hurt during the demonstration, he will be blamed.
Police are monitoring the situation and have not taken any actions other than to stop the crowd entering the building.
Participants are not respecting physical-distancing measures or wearing masks, precautions that are recommended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
On May 9, the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Nogo led a march in which groups of people shouted "We don't want migrants," and protested against the 5G Internet network and vaccinations.
Vucic's ruling conservative Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is poised to maintain its majority in Serbia's parliament amid an opposition boycott in the election. Vucic's coalition partner, the Socialist Party (SPS), is tapped to come in second at around 10 percent. Several right-wing and liberal parties may make it over a 3 percent threshold.
With reporting by Tatjana Bogdanov
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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