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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Serbians vote on amendments to the constitution

January 15, 2022
Serbians are going to the polls on Sunday to decide on amendments to part of the Constitution which governs the judiciary.
Voting at the referendum is not being organized in Kosovo because the parliament in Pristina adopted a resolution banning the vote. The question on the ballots is: Are you in favor of the act to confirm the changes to the Constitution of Serbia.
Serbian nationals resident in Kosovo have been given the opportunity to vote at polling stations in border towns. The Kosovo authorities arrested an official of the Serbian Republic Election Commission (RIK) bringing ballots for the Kosovo Serbs.
Voters are being asked to approve the amendments to the constitution which the authorities say would make the judiciary more independent while the opposition and civil society organizations say it would leave room for political interference. The amendments change the way judges and prosecutors are elected which means that if the amendments are passed, the High Judiciary Council and High Council of Prosecutors would make the appointments instead of parliament as is the case now. Opponents of the amendments are saying that this would leave room for political influence because of the way the members of those two bodies are appointed.
The opposition has called the electorate to vote no, instead of boycotting the ballot. Some European Union embassies have lent their support to the referendum. The authorities have also warned that failure to adopt the amendments would effectively halt Serbia’s European integration process.
The polls opened at 7.00 am on Sunday and will close at 8.00 pm. The RIK will hold five news conferences during the day to report on voter turnout. The poll will also be monitored by independent organizations.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbians-vote-on-amendments-to-the-constitution/

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