The paper written by Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic (VRV), in which she proved that the electoral list submitted by the NOPO (None of the above) party has been illegally accepted by the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) is rather interesting. The list was accepted despite the fact that the Constitutional Court adopted a decision that the list must be rejected, because it does not meet the criteria for participating in the elections – it does not have the necessary 10.000 notarized signatures of citizens. The crime novel described by VRV, leads to the conclusion that white votes, that is, protest votes, only now obtain their true meaning and reasons.
Until now, white votes were explained with the lack of good options and platforms to vote for, with the lack of trust in any party, because all of them have forgotten about public interest, involved themselves in corruption, sided with tycoons, and destroyed the institutions – so why should we vote for such parties, and, in doing so, give them legitimacy. The data of the survey published in Danas on May 2, according to which citizens gave the eight most relevant parties in Serbia an average grade of 2.2 (on a scale from 1 and 5) confirm that this is a well established fact, and not only nagging of the people gathered around Pescanik. DS and SNS, two biggest parties, received a grade of 2.4. Thus, the arguments in favor of a white vote were recognized by the majority of citizens. The only difference is that the supporters of the white vote want to publicly state their protest and cast a blank vote with the message of rejection.
However, after VRV’s paper on NOPO and other facts that came to our attention, it appears that the situation is much more serious than the citizens’ mere dislike of the offer by the parties running for elections or the fact that they don’t trust these parties. A similar situation is characteristic of elections in many other countries, and this is why some citizens decide to stay at home, because they have no one to vote for. It appears that our situation is much more difficult, since there are indications that these elections will be irregular, which is a far more serious question than the lack of good options that would make some citizens stay at home or cast a white vote.
There are enough indications to seriously examine the possibility that organized electoral fraud is taking place. If something like that could be proven, the white vote would really gain its true meaning. It would not be only the expression of dissatisfaction with the choice of parties, but instead, the beginning of a struggle against a new authoritarian regime, in which the democratic elections have been forged. Whether this regime is new, or is the continuation of the past, whether it can be changed without renouncing the past, or whether something like that will ever transpire, remains an important topic for future discussions.
I will explain the indications which suggest that the elections are fraudulent:
1. The justified concerns about the correctness of the electoral register. How is it possible that the register is almost equal to the number of Serbian citizens? How is it possible that the number of voters is lower than the number of inhabitants by only 100,000 – 200,000, depending on how we interpret the census, which in itself appears unclear and mysterious. How is it possible that, despite the fact that the media have been claiming for months that Serbia lost around 300,000 inhabitants in ten years, there are still more voters on these elections than on the previous – over 300,000 more. Despite the attempt to clear up this issue with the help of renowned statistical experts, a valid explanation has not been reached. The competent Ministry has not offered any explanation regarding the number of voters, although it was mentioned that the list increased by over 300.000 people. Why and how – remains unknown.
2. Parliamentary and presidential elections which will be organized in Kosovo will not be valid. We could read in the media that Serbs from Kosovo will have the right to vote (there are around 110,000 of them), but the electoral commissions at the polling stations will not have the right to count the ballots, although this has been prescribed by the law. Instead of that, the boxes will be sealed immediately after the elections, and sent to Raska, where the ballots will be counted – it is still unclear before which commission. Some mention that RIK will directly take over and count the votes. There are concerns that such a procedure could lead to fraud. The argument that it is unsafe to count the ballots directly at polling stations does not stand, since the process takes no more than 15 minutes, while it is safe to keep the polling stations opened during the entire day.
3. Assessments about the number of MP seats the parties that are now in power can win on the elections, indicate that it will not be enough to form a government. The prognosis for the DS electoral list is around 71 seats, for SPS around 35, for LDP (if it passes the electoral threshold) about 15. The Hungarian party will have three seats. All together, this is not enough. If Dinkic passes the electoral threshold, he will be warmly welcomed, but this remains uncertain. DS has to fight for seats, with fraud, if necessary. This is how the criminal story about NOPO came to be. With the help of the Cabinet of the President, his advisors and the State Security, a plan was drafted how to use NOPO to kill two birds with one stone.
To gain at least two seats (each of them extremely valuable) in an illegal way, through a fake party of the Vlach minority, with an electoral list that has been illegally accepted by RIK (something VRV proved, reminding us that the president of RIK is a member of DS and its contributor). And the other bird is no less important: undermine the white vote with the name confusion resembling the white vote, which would result in a small number of dupes actually falling for the trick, and at the same time giving the finger to the critics of government, especially those gathered around Pescanik. What kind of government deals in such petty, puny, infantile frauds, and what kind of people are behind this? It is more than clear that we should not give our votes to such people.
4. According to the information I have obtained, people hired to monitor the elections received different suspicious orders how to behave at the polling stations. Among other dangerous things, they were told that crumpling or scribbling on the ballot will be punished with 5 years of prison (wow), and that each ballot for presidential elections with two names circled, if one of said names is Boris Tadic, has to be treated as valid. We can only imagine how counting votes will look like if these instructions are followed.
We can continue proving that there are no more fair elections in Serbia, but it appears to me that such a thing is rather obvious. I remind you that the campaign was completely unfair, due to the total control over the media. And this is contrary to the basic preconditions for normal elections. All the monitoring institutions were in favor of the ruling coalition (Tadic and his partners), including RIK, the Republic Broadcasting Agency (RRS), Anticorruption Agency, as well as the court, which was obviously sitting on two chairs. It annulled the decision of RIK that NOPO can participate on the elections, but failed to give instruction how RIK should behave and what actions it should take.
And how did we reach the point where the only achievement of October 5 – fair and free elections – has been so badly worn out and wasted away? Democracy, as an electoral process and method of deciding, cannot be maintained if institutions which consolidate and strengthen the universal rules and the rule of law are not created at a certain pace. I will remind you of Djindjic’s words – that democracy is not a technique, nor the goodwill of authorities not to be fraudulent. Democracy is the picture of the world in which everything is uncertain, thus making the very existence of that world only a hypothesis.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic
Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).