Investigation 25 May 16

Picturesque Eastern Serbian Town Reveals Extent of Election Fraud

Opposition parties and local observers have complained that recent elections in Serbia contained significant incidences of election fraud. A BIRN investigation found that those worries might be true in the small Serbian town of Zagubica.

Milivoje Pantovic
BIRN
Belgrade
 Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic. Photo: Beta.

Safet Pavlovic, mayor of the quaint eastern Serbian town of Zagubica and member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), was a big winner in recent elections.

Pavlovic drew widespread public attention to obscure Zagubica by proudly bragging about the Progressive Party’s total control of the local electorate with the salutation, "good evening North Korea," while speaking at a local Progressive Party pre-election rally.

"Why North Korea?" he said at the rally. "Because Sige [municipality] is where the SNS coalition will score the biggest victory in Zagubica [on election day].”

He predicted Progressives would win 95 percent of the vote in Sige.

Videos from Pavlovic's rally quickly went viral and triggered witty commentary from local media.


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