SNS to officially request early elections in Vojvodina

NEW YORK -- The Serb Progressive Party (SNS) will in the coming days send a written request to the Vojvodina assembly president to call early elections in the province.

The SNS - the ruling party on the state level - will ask that the ballot takes place "in the next six months or one year,", its Vice-President Igor Mirović was quoted as saying.

Mirović, president of the SNS Council for Vojvodina, believes that the results of the by-elections for seats in the Vojvodina Assembly held on Sunday in Apatin, won by a candidate of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), and in Zrenjanin and Srbobran, won by SNS members, show that the will of the citizens of Vojvodina has changed.

“It is questionable whether the citizens of Vojvodina would have voted in the same way (at regular provincial elections) on May 6 if they had known that the Development Bank of Vojvodina was on the verge of collapse, as well as other Vojvodina funds. Would the citizens have voted in the same manner if they had known that goods from the provincial reserves amounting to RSD 180 million, which were distributed to all 60 electoral districts in Vojvodina, were used for buying votes?” Mirović said in a statement for Belgrade daily Danas.

The ruling majority in the provincial assembly is made up of the Democratic Party (DS), the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV), the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

At the regular provincial elections held in May last year, the coalition formed around the DS won 58 seats, a SNS-led coalition 22, and a SPS-led coalition 13 seats.

The LSV has ten representatives in the provincial Assembly, the SVM seven, the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) five, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) four, and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) i.e. the U-Turn coalition one.

Mirović said that there are many elements which indicate that although the current authorities have a legal framework for decision-making and the majority in the Vojvodina parliament, they have no legitimacy.

The SNS request could be backed by other opposition parties in Vojvodina, such as the DSS, Mirović said, adding that representatives of ruling and opposition parties should reach an agreement and set a date of elections in the coming six months or one year.

The Vojvodina Assembly has 120 seats, half of which are filled using a proportional representation system, and the remaining 60 using a majority system across an equal number of electoral districts in all 45 municipalities and towns in the province.