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Higher Public Prosecutor's Office on CINS's Investigation: We're Waiting on Election Commissions

29 Nov 2023
Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade; photo: CINS
After we published an article today about the operations of SNS’s call center and possible vote buying, the Belgrade Higher Public Prosecutor's Office is passing the buck to the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) and the City Electoral Commission (GIK).

The Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office briefly told CINS that the Republic Electoral Commission and City Electoral Commission have the legal authority and obligation to determine irregularities and illegalities in the election process. If they find something, they expect to be informed about it, the Prosecutor’s Office says.

On the other hand, Nemanja Nenadić from Transparency Serbia organization believes that the article is reason enough for the prosecution to launch an investigation for the potential criminal offense of giving and accepting bribes in connection with voting from Article 156 of the Criminal Code, colloquially known as “vote buying”.

“It is related to a situation where some people, regardless of whether they are party supporters or work for a party, are offered something – some money or some additional work, and in return they are asked to vote for a certain party, a certain list in the elections.”

Also, Nenadić says that another violation of the law could be a violation of the secrecy of voting, as it is required that a photo of the ballot be submitted to the coordinator, that is, to a third party.

As a reminder, CINS published an article today in which it uncovers the operations of the Serbian Progressive Party’s call center near the Port of Belgrade, from which more than 100 people call citizens every day and ask them if they will vote for SNS in the upcoming elections. CINS’s journalist was briefly part of this group, and was offered what we colloquially call “vote buying” on two occasions.

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