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news 06 May 12

Voting Finishes Without Incidents in Serbia

All polling stations have closed across Serbia as scheduled in elections that appear to have passed without major incidents.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade
 
 Polls close at 8pm in Serbia elections, Photo by Beta

After 13 hours, polling station closed their door at 8pm for voters to cast ballots in Serbia's presidential, general, provincial and local elections.

The state election committee is expected to publish the first unofficial election indications at about 10pm on Sunday.

According to the State Election Commission, RIK, 48.24 per cent of voters had cast their ballots by 6pm. Serbia has 6,770,013 registered voters.

Voter turnout in Belgrade by 6pm was 46.34 per cent, in central Serbia 48.37 per cent and in Vojvodina 47.89 per cent.

Voters choosing between 18 candidate lists for the parliamentary elections and 12 candidates for the president.

Observers expect a tight race at all levels between the two main rivals, the ruling centrist Democrats and the opposition, more nationalist, Progressives.

Although the Progressives are likely to win most votes in the general election, their chances of forming a government remain slim as a result of their poor coalition potential.

The Centre for Free Elections and Democracy, CeSID, reported no serious irregularities at the polling stations, and said minor irregularities that occurred would not jeopardize the elections.

Despite the pre-election silence, many political parties have been sending text messages to people reminding them to vote.

One of the ballots on Facebook

Social networks in Serbia were flooded with pictures of annuled ballots. While some were casting their ballots with drawings of Batman and other super heroes, others were adding their own candidate on the list of presidential candidates.

Serbian general and presidential elections were held in 90 polling stations in Kosovo. The head of the OSCE mission, ambassador Werner Almhofer, visited several polling stations and met the OSCE staff running the balloting facilitation centres.

“Our reports indicate that so far the operation is running smoothly, and I have seen this for myself in several polling stations that the OSCE local and international staff are performing their duties diligently, enabling voters to cast their ballots,” he said.

The votes in Kosovo will be counted in Vranje and Raska in Serbia.

 
 Voting in Gracanica, Photo by Beta

In addition to presidential and parliamentary elections, voters in Zvecan and Zubin Potok, two municipalities in the Serb-run enclave of northern Kosovo, voted for new local authorities.

According to Radio KiM, about 35 per cent of voters had cast ballots at 10 polling stations in the municipality by 2pm.

These elections are not supported by the authorities in Belgrade and are not being conducted by the OSCE.

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