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Estonia signs open letter calling for Serbian elections investigation

EU flag.
EU flag. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Members of the Riigikogu's foreign affairs and EU affairs committees signed an open letter calling for an independent investigation into election irregularities during the Serbian parliamentary and local elections.

The petition was signed by committees from 17 countries concerning elections held in December 2023.

MPs said it raises concerns about the legitimacy of the electoral results. They also wrote that these events and the repressive state response in their aftermath indicate a further escalation in the autocratic development of the country.

"Our common goal is to see Serbia as a member of the European Union within this decade. A necessary requirement for this is a functioning democracy and the rule of law. The massive electoral manipulations observed by the international election observation mission and independent civil society observers are clear violations of the principles of free, equal, and secret elections and incompatible with this requirement," the text says.

The letter calls on the EU to support an independent investigation by the European Parliament into the allegations of electoral manipulation, to draft a list of recommendations to ensure free, equal, and secret elections, and conditioning of further funding and progress in the accession process on their implementation before the next elections.

Depending on the findings of the investigation, they invite the EU to call for a repetition of the elections.

"This development includes Serbia's continued cooperation with the Russian Federation regardless of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. This poses a critical threat towards the stability of the entire Western Balkans. If there is no common European response now, it will invite similar actions by actors in neighboring states in the future," the MPs write

The open letter is addressed to the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Parliament, the president of the European Council, the high representative for Foreign Affairs and the EU special representative.

It was signed by 24 parliamentarians from Czechia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko (Reform) Mihkelson signed the open letter on behalf of Estonia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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