The conditions for parliamentary elections in Serbia are not ideal, especially when it comes to the media situation, but boycotting them is not a solution, Matthew Palmer, the U.S. special representative for the Western Balkans and deputy assistant secretary of state, said in an interview for Voice of America in the evening on May 27.
Palmer also said that the U.S. understands some of the opposition’s arguments relating to the election conditions being unfair, but he warned that if the opposition steps out of the political arena, its voice will not reach much far.
“When it comes to the June 21 elections, we would like to see that the Serbian citizens have as many options as possible, [because] it is important to have real choices in a democratic process, and we’ve encouraged all political parties to participate. Boycotting is rarely a good way of expressing one’s discontent. We salute the decision of those who have made up their minds to participate, and we hope that the citizens of Serbia, once at the polling stations on June 21, will have who to vote for,” Palmer said.
He pointed out that it is important that the OSCE Mission to Serbia assess the election conditions. He added that the conditions seen both at previous elections and today are not ideal, and that the U.S. had particularly expressed its concern over the media situation in Serbia.