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Serbia denies hiding COVID-19 Effect to push Forward with election

Serbia has denied concealing the real effects of COVID-19 from the nation in an attempt to plow forward with a parliamentary election.

Milorad Ivanovic, BIRN’s editor-in-chief, advised Euronews the authorities formally noted that 244 people died from COVID-19 within this age. However, he promised, information it had got showed there were 632 fatalities.

It’s uncertain if there were disagreements in the statistics throughout the 3 months to the June 21 vote. But immediately after the survey, cases started climbing, moving from 91 on election day to 254 only a week after June 28.

Critics have suggested that the lower amount of cases before the survey aided promote Serbians out to vote at the election and that the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) obtained by a landslide.

“We came into the scenario [a spike in cases] since the conclusion was made that elections have to be achieved,” Zoran Radovanović, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Belgrade, informed Euronews.

Serbian MP Marinika Tepic, vice president of the resistance Freedom and Justice Party, stated that the incorrect data helped the authorities organize the”bogus and harmful elections”.

“Literally, about the afternoon of the election, the authorities said that the health problem is great and, only a day later, they assert that situation is dangerous and catastrophic,” she explained.

“Along with the hypocrisy, the regime blamed the people for the spread of COVID-19 rather than taking the attribute with all lifting the steps.”

It eased constraints at the start of May amid people discontent over confinement and even despite warnings from physicians it was too premature. Following a spike in cases following the election, Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, declared a brand new lockdown, he later backtracked on following protests.

On Wednesday, Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabic, refused that the government hid COVID-19 instances but confessed there were mistakes. She stated that all these came about through the importing of data into a monitoring system.

“Initially, we didn’t have a database,” she explained. “This has been an ad-hoc system.

“We used some 50 individuals, through short-term contracts, to fulfill in the database to prevent burdening our health employees [with the job ]. The amounts weren’t accurate and you’ve got the right to criticize.”

Rasa Nedeljkov, from Belgrade-based elections and democracy watchdog CRTA, stated the COVID-19 catastrophe had reduced confidence in Serbia’s public associations.

“Findings of those journalists seeing’tampered’ amounts of [COVID-19] infected/deceased only further afield confidence in public institutions.

“We shouldn’t overlook the government’s emergency team was providing confusing messages regarding the virus, so it is weak in the summertime, so all that resulted in more relaxed behavior of taxpayers. All this makes taxpayers not trust associations.

“We’ve found a lot of irregularities concerning the entire election procedure, not only on voting day. There was a misuse of press, illegal use of public offices for campaigns. We’ve filed complaints to state bodies in charge of those problems, however, nothing happens.

“On Friday afternoon, our observers reported irregularities in an 8 to 10 percent of voting places tracked. Individuals without ID voted, others with files couldn’t vote there was not any checkup [regarding if ] an individual had voted.”

All this, Nedeljkov stated, suggests that votes were”purchased” or people were affected in another way.

However, Dragan Sormaz, MP for the judgment SNS celebration, told Euronews there was nothing unusual together with all the elections and the vote wasn’t a danger to public health.

Nobody complained about these. There were observers from OSCE as well as the NGO sector. The complaints which were created are hearsay.”