Prosecution official: Votes were not stolen
20 sacks full of ballot papers went missing after May 6 elections - but there was no election fraud, "because these ballots were taken after they were counted".Source: B92
This is according to State Prosecution spokesman Tomo Zorić, who addressed reporters during a news conference in Belgrade on Monday.
Zorić spoke on behalf of the prosecution after the Serb Progressives (SNS) accused the Democratic Party (DS) last week of organizing election fraud.
Top SNS officials showed a sack containing some 3,000 ballots, which they said were found in a dumpster after the ruling parties replaced them with forgeries.
The party filed a criminal complaint against unknown perpetrators.
But Zorić said that this "election material" was stolen after ballots were already counted, and that none of the reports submitted by councils organizing the voting at polling stations were fake.
Zorić also stated that "forensic analysis confirmed that 2,109 ballots were identical". and that they came from the polling station no. 57, in Pančevo, north of Belgrade.
The spokesman added that an order was issued "to determine who took the ballots".
All this, he continued, did not mean that the will of the citizens had been "redrawn", because the polling stations' reports were in order, while the ballot theft occurred after they were counted.
The state election commission (RIK), concluded Zorić, is missing 20 more sacks of ballot papers.
Over the weekend, RIK met and decided to reject all complaints filed by the SNS, including their call for elections on all levels to be annulled.
Democratic Party officials have dismissed accusations against them, while Interior Minister Ivica Dačić, who also heads the SPS party, said on Monday that an investigation into the case was ongoing, and that "dozens of people who took part in the election chain" had been interviewed.