Serbian protesters gather outside police station in Belgrade

Thousands gathered in front of a Belgrade police station on Monday evening in support of those arrested the previous day during protests against what they say was electoral fraud in Serbia’s recent parliamentary and local elections.

Serbian police said on Monday they have detained nearly 40 people who took part in demonstrations.

It marked the eighth consecutive day of protests, which unlike Sunday’s demonstrations were peaceful despite having started with roadblocks in the capital and later a gathering in front of the state electoral commission building.

“See you tomorrow at 6 pm,” Srdjan Milivojevic, a deputy from the opposition “Serbia against violence” coalition said late Monday, signalling protesters would reconvene.

A demonstrator blows a whistle as opposition supporters take part in a march during a protest in Belgrade, on December 25, 2023, a week after the generl election.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had denounced violence in the capital the previous evening, when opposition demonstrators had tried to storm Belgrade city hall and clashed with police.

Vucic said there was evidence the violence had been planned in advance.

Moscow on Monday also accused the West of interfering, suggesting that foreign actors were trying to stir up the unrest.

Earlier Monday, Vucic met the Russian ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko and briefed him on Sunday’s incidents.

Vucic is walking a difficult line balancing between East and West, vowing to keep Serbia on a course for European Union membership while also remaining friendly with Russia and courting Beijing and Washington.

AdvertisementThe new Emirates Premium Economy has arrived on the latest Emirates A380 Emirates Get the best value from your summer holiday with exclusive offers and discounts across Dubai and the UAE with Emirates Pass