Several thousand people attend concert-protest in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Several thousand people have protested the cancellation of a popular singer's concert in Serbia, allegedly over his support for a liberal opposition candidate before next month's presidential election.

The concert by Vlado Georgiev in the town of Smederevo, central Serbia, was to be held on March 4 in the town's sports hall, but local organizers canceled the event. Georgiev has said he believed the reason was political.

Serbia's ruling populists have faced accusations of curbing dissent before the April 2 vote, which pits Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic against fractured opposition candidates.

Georgiev has openly backed former public rights defender Sasa Jankovic for the presidency. Georgiev sang his songs at the protest late Saturday, saying "beautiful things should not be banned over (political) opinions."

Smederevo city authorities have denied they interfered.

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