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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Serbian Parliament holds inaugural session

February 6, 2024

The Serbian Parliament held its inaugural session on Tuesday which was presided by Stojan Radenovic of the Aleksandar Vucic—Serbia Must Not Stop ticket as the oldest lawmaker.

The first item on the agenda of the session, which was attended by 178 MPs, was the verification of the parliament members’ terms in office, followed by the official swearing-in ceremony.

The opposition MPs walked out of the parliament hall when the members of the ruling majority were taking their oaths, and the MPs of the opposition NADA and Serbia Against Violence coalitions took their oaths in the hallway.

They explained after the session that they had refused to take oath with the people “who got their seats by stealing elections, who break laws on a daily basis and for whom the words of this oath mean nothing.”

MP of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Aleksandar Martinovic congratulated the members of the parliament on their election, and the Serbian citizens on fair, free and democratic elections.

Borko Stefanovic of the Serbia Against Violence coalition said “this parliament is built on electoral fraud,” which will be proved by all the international and local election observation missions’ reports “and I am certain also by the European Parliament Resolution on February 8.”

Opposition MP Marinika Tepic told the media that a cordon of at least 40 police officers separated the opposition MPs from all others and that they literally pressed against them to prevent them from moving.

She said “the partisan police are above the law” and that “all those employed in the Internal Affairs Ministry who presented themselves as security put themselves in the service of the party, (Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Bratislav) Gasic and (Serbian President Aleksandar) Vucic.”

Tepic stressed that „everything is as if we are in a state of emergency, not to say a state of war.”

She posted on X a video of the police inspecting the opposition MPs’ vehicles using metal detectors.

“This is how they have also been checking our cars since this morning at the parking lot of the National Parliament! Us from the opposition, as if we were terrorists! I certainly look like someone who would bring in weapons, bombs! Horror!” Tepic wrote.

At the beginning of the session opposition MPs raised banners with messages such as “You stole the elections,” “Thieves, give back your seats,” and “Kosovo is Serbia.”

The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) responded by unfurling a banner that read: “You crooks, you want to rob Serbia again. It’s not gonna happen,” which was greeted by a loud applause from the members of the ruling majority.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/serbian-parliament-holds-inaugural-session/

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