Serbian authorities deploy tear gas as thousands rally against ‘unjust’ elections.

Serbian opposition hold rally after populist ruling party wins most votes in snap poll deemed unfair by observers

Police fired teargas as thousands gathered in Belgrade to demand the annulment of parliamentary and local elections a week ago that international observers said were unfair.

The populist ruling Serbian Progressive party (SNS) won 46.72% of the votes in snap parliamentary elections last weekend, according to state election commission preliminary results.

An international monitoring mission on Monday said the SNS gained an unjust advantage through media bias, the improper influence of President Aleksandar Vučić, and voting irregularities such as vote buying.

Vučić said on Sunday that the claims were falsehoods promoted by the political opposition. He also suggested the unrest was instigated from abroad. Addressing the nation during the protest outside Belgrade town hall, he called the demonstrators “thugs” who would not succeed in destabilizing the state and said: “This is not a revolution.”

Associated Press reported that on Sunday night shielded riot police barricaded themselves inside Belgrade’s town hall, firing teargas as protesters broke windows on the entrance of the downtown building. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The protesters shouted “open the door” and “thieves” as they also pelted the building with eggs. Some chanted “Vučić is Putin”, comparing the Serbian president with Russia’s leader.

Later, the police pushed the crowd from the area and made several arrests.

The center-left opposition alliance Serbia Against Violence came second in the election with 23.56% of the votes and the Socialist party of Serbia third with 6.56%.

Srdjan Milivojević and Vladimir Obradović of the Serbia Against Violence coalition tried to open the door of the town hall but were unable to enter, while the crowd shouted “get in, get in,” and “no surrender”.

Another member of Serbia Against Violence, Marinika Tepic, has been on hunger strike since the elections to demand they should be annulled.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report

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