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NEWS 11 Apr 17

Serbian Police Probe Alleged Election Fraud Video

Questions have been raised about whether footage allegedly showing men filling a ballot box with votes for PM Aleksandar Vucic is genuine or not, but police have launched a probe.

Filip Rudic
BIRN
Belgrade
Photo illustration: Rama/Wikimedia Commons

Serbian police announced on Tuesday that they have launched an investigation into the video of alleged ballot-stuffing in favour of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic at the April 2 presidential elections.

The video, filmed with a cellphone, purportedly shows ballots being thrown into a box by two unseen men.

The men are heard saying that they have cast 120 votes already, and that they will continue until it looks like the turnout has reached 90 per cent.

In a brief announcement, police stated they will do everything they can to determine whether the ballots are real and find the people talking in the video.

Musician Predrag Gostovic, who was interrogated by the police after sharing the video on Twitter, told Beta news agency he was not the author of it.

Gostovic added that the police know the identity of the person who originally posted the video on social networks. 

Vucic decsribed the footage as “home video” and promised that the issue will be resolved, according to Serbian news website Insajder.

“The police will uncover everything. Whereever there is a problem [with the vote], I will raise my voice about it because I know we won fairly,” Vucic said, according to Insajder.

People on social networks have been divided over the video’s authenticity.

Some have noticed that one of the men in the video is wearing socks, that they are standing on a carpet and that the ballot box is not sealed.

The dialogue they are having also raised questions.

One person is heard saying: “Our prime minister will reward us for this with a holiday in Greece!”

Several commentators on social media declared it was a hoax whose purpose was to make people forget the real irregularities that have been reported.

Djordje Krivokapic from the NGO Share Foundation told BIRN that his organisation analysed the video file but could not determine its authenticity.

Andrej Petrovski, also from Share, warned that people should be cautious in cases such as this.

“They should be mindful of the context in which this [video] appears and the lack of possibility to verify when and where the video was made. We also do not know who the author is,” Petrovski said.

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