International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Montenegrin Ambassador: Serb Presidency member's move only harms Bosnia

February 4, 2020

Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik's move casts a shadow on the good relations between Bosnia and Montenegro which serve as an example of cooperation and friendship between two countries, Montenegrin Ambassador to Bosnia Milos Stanic told N1 on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency voted against Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic's the official visit to Bosnia, despite the fact that he signed a written invitation to Djukanovic several months earlier, after taking office.

“That move was surprising, to say the least. Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik has denied the Montenegrin President's official bilateral visit (to Bosnia). That move will only harm Bosnia,” Stanisic said.

He added that Montenegro is Bosnia's honest partner.

“Montenegro is a friendly country. I believe that this move harms the good relations between our two countries. I think the Presidency will make the right decision in the coming days,” Stanisic noted. “Montenegrin President Djukanovic is an honest friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well. Dodik's move casts a shadow on everything that is good and exemplary (between the two states).”

Stanisic pointed out that no one should worry about Montenegro's internal affairs because it is an internationally recognised country and a NATO member state, noting that Montenegro is ready to resolve all its problems by itself.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566524/Monetnegrin-envoy-to-BiH-says-Dodik-s-move-against-Djukanovic-s-visit-wrong.html 

Police arrest man who vandalized Croatian Society building in northern Serbia

February 4, 2020

Serbia’s Interior Ministry (MUP) said on Tuesday the police arrested a 51-year-old man suspected of ‘spreading national, racial and religious hatred and intolerance’, a crime under Serbia’s Penal Code, N1 reported.

The man identified by R.V. initials is suspected of breaking windows on the building of the Croatian minority cultural organisation in a village of Stari Slankamen in Serbia, northern Vojvodina province, on Monday night.

The suspect will be held in 48-hour police custody before taken to the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in the nearby town of Sremska Mitrovica.

Serbia’s Ombudsman Zoran Pasalic demanded from MUP information about the “vandal act” in Stari Slankamen and about measures it took.

Pasalic gave MUP the 15-day deadline to comply with the request.

Following the MUP’s answer, the Ombudsman would decide on further actions, his office said.

Earlier on Tuesday, anti-Semitic and Nazi graffiti appeared in Vojvodina’s capital Novi Sad.

The black spray graffiti included a crossed-out Star of David and the words Juden Frei, a term used by the Nazis to denote areas cleansed of Jews during World War 2.    

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566502/Serbia-s-police-arrest-man-for-spreding-national-hatered.html

Opposition MP hands evidence to Serbian Public Prosecutor

February  4, 2020

Opposition MP Marinika Tepic delivered evidence of what she said is the robbery of Serbia’s military industry by state and ruling party officials on Tuesday.

Tepic, deputy leader of the Party of Freedom and Justice, said that information from whistleblower Aleksandar Obradovic about dubious dealings at the Krusik munitions plant led to a “corrupt chain in the robbing of our military industry”.

She criticized Public Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac for not reacting to reports on corruption. “It seems that Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac does not watch N1, does not read NIN or Birn or Vreme and probably does not hear what I have been saying for six months,” Tepic told the media in front of the prosecutor’s offices.

She said that she collected all kinds of evidence, including information from the media and National Bank of Serbia documents, reports by the State Audit Institution, by herself.

“I came here to bring her all this in the hope that there are some responsible and professional prosecutors who want to do their job,” Tepic said.

Dolovac has been criticized for months by the opposition for not saying anything about the Krusik whistleblower and other cases.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566430/Opposition-MP-hands-evidence-to-Serbian-Public-Prosecutor.html

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Novi Sad

February 4, 2020

Anti-Semitic and Nazi graffiti appeared in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad, the local 021 portal reported on Tuesday.

The black spray graffiti included a star of David which was crossed out, and the words Juden Frei a term used by the Nazis to denote areas cleansed of Jews during World War 2.  

Other graffiti in the same neighborhood of the multi-ethnic city included the world Death to Communism, the SS insignia and the numbers 88 which neo-Nazis use instead of the words Heil Hitler. The portal said that a large number of anti-fascist graffiti were crossed out.  

Similar graffiti appeared a few months ago in the same are of the city and were painted over by the so-called Anti-Graffiti Unit in the city communal services company.  

The 021 portal said that neo-Nazi messages have appeared over the past few weeks on the city university campus and on the Danube quay which was the site of the so-called Novi Sad raid in WW 2 when Hungarian fascists and Nazi killed several hundred people by shooting them and throwing them into the frozen river.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566424/Anti-Semitic-graffiti-in-Novi-Sad.html

Pristina daily says German diplomat envoy for Kosovo

February 4, 2020

German diplomat Christoph Heusgen will be named European Union special representative for Kosovo, Pristina TV Klan Kosova said quoting what it said are reliable sources.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell told N1 in Belgrade last week that he would name a special representative to deal with the Kosovo issue and Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on a daily basis

European Commission spokesman Peter Stano denied reports of the appointment of the German diplomat, saying that it was a topic of discussion during High Representative Borrell’s visit to Pristina and Belgrade. Speculation about a name and the status of that person is premature, he said.

 Klan Kosova’s unnamed sources said that Heusgen’s role will be similar to that of the US President’s special envoy for the dialogue Ambassador Richard Grenell.

Heusgen has been Germany’s ambassador to the United Nations since 2017 and is considered to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s most influential foreign policy advisor.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566406/German-diplomat-Heusgen-to-be-EU-envoy-for-Kosovo.html

'How to fix a broken window?' - op-ed article by Head of OSCE Mission in Bosnia

February 3, 2020

Fixing a broken window may be easy but recognizing and repairing the damage caused by hate speech and hate crimes in a society that is still recovering from the trauma of war is another matter entirely, ambassador Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Bosnia wrote in an op-ed on the latest incidents reported in parts of the country. "Healthy dialogue" among political parties is one of the measures the OSCE proposes for 2020 to overcome these problems.

"It is perhaps not surprising that when the window of the Carsija Mosque in Kozarska Dubica was broken one night in January, local residents worried that the event was triggered by ethnic hatred. In a land that has suffered the disastrous consequences of inter-ethnic war, something as simple as breaking a window, posting abusive graffiti or hanging up an offensive poster can provoke anxiety and fear, particularly at a time when social media is often used as an accelerant to spread misunderstanding, hatred -- and even violence. Fixing a broken window may be easy, but recognizing and repairing the damage caused by hate speech and hate crimes in a society that is still recovering from the trauma of war is another matter entirely.

As parents and citizens, we hope for a peaceful and prosperous world, and we toil in our daily lives to build a society worthy of our dreams for our children. We all feel the effect of a divided, distrustful society and we recognize instinctively that division and hate pose a risk to peace. We look to our leaders for direction and hope in troubled times. We ask many things of our politicians, possible and impossible, but the most important thing citizens should expect is that those who seek to be elected provide leadership that avoids provoking division and hatred.

The year ahead, 2020, will be a challenging one to navigate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, full as it is of important milestones: twenty-five years since the Dayton Peace Accords were signed to end fighting and suffering across all of BiH; a quarter of a century since the single biggest atrocity in Europe since WWII, the genocide in Srebrenica. Meanwhile, another round of municipal elections in the fall will undoubtedly serve to provoke political tensions. In this context, some have argued that it is too late to work on real reconciliation and others say it is too early. I say the time is now.

Unfortunately, many of the societal fault lines that Dayton tried to repair still exist, along with the temptation to use the ethnic card to attack political opponents and gain votes, an approach that risks inflaming ethnic hatreds. For example, we have witnessed threats against an orthodox parish priest in Blagaj on the occasion of a celebration of the Assumption of Mary, the vandalizing of a catholic cemetery in Veresika, and more recently, divisive displays of nationalism in Srebrenica, Bratunac Foča, and Visegrad during Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

My visit to Srebrenica few days ago was difficult and emotional - I saw first-hand how divisive narratives can hurt communities and undermine progress and prosperity.

Playing the card of division might seem to offer quick and easy results, but history shows that doing so is a poisonous, risky game that does not lead to a stronger, more prosperous and peaceful society, one that serves the needs of its citizens. What is needed is a different, wiser and more visionary approach: leadership that brings people together, builds on the strengths of diversity, promotes trust and understanding, and builds unity.

This kind of leadership exists today in Bosnia and Herzegovina, if you know where to look. In Blagaj and Veresika, for example, local leaders condemned the aforementioned incidents, and responded to the need to prevent tensions from escalating and to restore trust in the community. In Bosanski Petrovac, when two men were photographed provocatively wearing nationalistic insignia, the Mayor issued a strong public appeal for calm, cohesiveness and solidarity among citizens.

Another example of wise leadership can be found in Kozarska Dubica, where the community came together to fix the window broken in the mosque. The Mayor publicly condemned the attack and offered to pay to repair the damage. After the police identified who was behind it, the responsible individuals accompanied by their parents met the Majlis of the Islamic Community. Under the watchful eyes of their elders, they expressed remorse, asked for forgiveness, and indicated they would pay to fix the broken window and related damage. Forgiveness was granted, and the group retired to a coffee house to reflect on the understanding they had achieved.

Such a simple story, but yet so inspiring. We may not know what motivated the individuals to break the window, or whether they understood at the time the pain and alarm it would cause. Perhaps they were young and didn’t realize the risks to themselves and their own community. What we do know is that leaders in the town did not look away or dismiss the incident, but rather took on the responsibility to condemn the action, investigate it, identify the cause, promote community dialogue and so repair the damage – along with the window.

Combatting provocative acts and rhetoric is crucial, but prevention is even more important. Wise leaders find ways to sow the positive seeds of trust and cohesion in local communities. Bosanski Petrovac, for example, is home to Mountaineers without prejudice, a civil society network of mountaineers from different backgrounds who joined forces to show how recreational activities can not only improve the community but contribute to understanding, reconciliation and peacebuilding. In Žepče, the community – led by an association of victims from all sides -- came together in 2017 to build a unique monument – so far the only one lilke it in BiH -- to all civilian victims of war. Since 2018, every 9 October local authorities lay a wreath at the monument to officially mark the Žepče Municipal Day, thus demonstrating one important way a wounded society can address its tragic past, build bridges and work for common future.

Experience suggests that more metaphorical windows could be broken as the election campaign heats up and we observe other important dates. But this doesn’t have to happen. With the right political and civic leadership, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of hate speech and point the country in a more positive direction.

In this spirit, the OSCE Mission to BiH proposes the following measures for 2020:

· Asking political parties and candidates for local elections to pledge to respect healthy dialogue and restrain from inflammatory and negative rhetoric.
· Encouraging the press and social media users to highlight voices committed to building an inclusive society, and to verify facts and screen out disinformation.
· Supporting political dialogue and discussions that focus on solving problems and addressing issues of concern to the citizens.

Kozarska Dubica – and many other communities like it – have shown us the best way to fix a broken window. It is time, though, that we strive to keep our windows intact in the first place."

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407935/How-to-fix-a-broken-window-op-ed-article-by-Head-of-OSCE-Mission-in-Bosnia-Kathleen-Kavalec.html

European Union expects to see local elections in Mostar this year

February 3, 2020

European Union (EU) expects to see a proper holding of local elections this year in Bosnia, including Mostar, as well as improvements of electoral standards, EU Delegation in Bosnia said following a meeting of the EU ambassadors in Sarajevo with members of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency on Monday.

Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative accompanied by EU Heads of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina met with the Presidency members to discuss efforts on how to use the political momentum to move the country forward on its EU accession path, in light of the 14 key priorities from the Commission Opinion on Bosnia's EU membership application.

The first key priority from the Opinion identifies the need to ensure elections are conducted in line with European standards. “We expect to see the proper holding of local elections this year, Mostar included, as well as improvements to the democratic processes and electoral standards,” EU Delegation said following the meeting.

“The EU continues to underline that Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to see tangible economic reforms, making the BiH economy fit for Europe. We stand ready to support BiH authorities on all reforms they undertake to advance the country’s modernization and its ability to take on the obligations of EU membership,” it added.

Ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May 2020, the Delegation said, Bosnian leadership should seize the opportunity to demonstrate its readiness to improve the lives of citizens and undertake genuine efforts to address reconciliation and overcome the legacy of the past, “as an inevitable element of the EU accession process. Success in this endeavor is important both for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Europe as a whole.”

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407951/European-Union-expects-to-see-local-elections-in-Mostar-this-year.html

Bosnia won't become parking lot for migrants, says security minister

February 3, 2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic on Monday said in Zagreb that economic migration is not a humanitarian issue and that he would do everything so that Bosnia and Herzegovina does not become a parking lot for migrants.

"We have deliberately chosen Croatia for our first bilateral meeting to show that relations with Croatia are strategically important for us because we share more than one thousand kilometres of border," said Radoncic who was recently appointed as the country's new Security Minister.

"Bosnia finds it exceptionally important that Croatian border is absolutely impenetrable for illegal migrants for security and other reasons," Radoncic underscored.

"Not only will Croatia achieve its objectives with regard to entering the Schengen Area in that way, but it will also achieve a pragmatic position in that the route across Bosnia and Herzegovina will not be that attractive for migrants and they will bypass us," he explained.

Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic agreed with his counterpart but added that it is not in anyone's interest for another or third route to exist.

"We need to come to an agreement at the EU level about the objective and intention with regard to economic migrations," Bozinovic added.

"Solidarity of everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region is necessary. If the EU and we do not come to an agreement, there will be problems. I will do everything for Bosnia and Herzegovina to not become a parking lot for migrants," Radoncic underlined and called on Brussels to not treat the migrant crisis merely as a humanitarian issue but one of security too.

He added that 93% of EU support for Bosnia and Herzegovina is used for humanitarian aid and only 7% is allocated for security issues.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a shortage of police officers

Bozinovic said that he and his counterpart had agreed to stronger cooperation between border police while Radoncic warned of the "alarming situation," in his country in that regard.

"Each border police officer patrols 25 kilometers of the border. In the past three years, there has not been one new police officer employed in the border police," Radoncic stressed and added that the country urgently needs 400 police officers and in the long run 1,200.

Combating smuggling

Bozinovic said that today almost all security issues are transnational and that cross-border cooperation is essential.

He underlined that last year Croatia arrested a thousand smugglers and added that this is "one of the fastest-growing forms of organised crime in these regions."

"We have already arrested 95 people since the beginning of the year. That is certainly one area where cooperation has to be additionally strengthened with the relevant services in Bosnia and Herzegovina and also elsewhere," Bozinovic added.

In the end, Radoncic thanked Croatia for its support to Bosnia and Herzegovina and invited Bozinovic for a visit.


Minister: Bosnia can't guarantee safety conditions for EU member states

February 3, 2020

Most of today's meeting between the Croatian Interior and Bosnian Security minister dealt with the issue of illegal migrations and the two came to similar conclusions, Croatia's Davor Bozinovic said Monday, while Bosnia's Fahrudin Radoncic stressed that Bosnia cannot guarantee the same safety conditions for EU member states because of its agencies are stretched to capacity.

This isn't a refugee crisis any more, because we're seeing an increased number of migrants from Pakistan who want to live in the EU. We have a situation where they enter the EU via Greece and then come to us,” Fahrudin Radoncic said in Zagreb. “Bosnia can't guarantee the safety conditions for EU member states because our agencies are stretched to capacity. We got a large number of migrants whose identity is yet to be determined.”

He then asked Croatia to jointly start lobbying in the EU for the migrant crisis to start being viewed as a security crisis, rather than a humanitarian one. Radoncic argued that 93 percent of the total aid Bosnia receives from the EU is of humanitarian aspect, while only 7 refers to the security aspect of the crisis.

Croatia's Davor Bozinic said the two discussed all the relevant issues for the security of the two countries and agreed on certain mechanisms which will be implemented quickly.

“We heard some information which is interesting to us, to say the least, because Croatia now chairs the Council of Europe. As an EU member state, we are very interested in raising the issue of the migrant route spanning from Greece, arccos Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and then heading to other EU states,” Croatian Interior Minister said.

He noted that Croatia will also raise the issue on one of Council's sessions, emphasizing the issue of human trafficking.

“We can't let traffickers have better cooperation than we do, whose agencies are not cooperating on the same level as traffickers,” he noted.

When it comes to helping Bosnia, Bozinic said that after the Monday meeting, he will advocate for the EU funds to be redirected to strengthening its security capacities.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407875/Minister-Bosnia-can-t-guarantee-safety-conditions-for-EU-member-states.html

Kosovo forms new government, Serbs to head two ministries, congrats from envoys

February 3, 2020

Kosovo’s Parliament voted in a new government on Monday with Albin Kurti, of the Self-Determination party, as the Prime Minister, with 66 deputies in favour and ten abstained, N1 reported.

Kurti recommended two local Serbs for ministers, as stipulated by Kosovo’s Constitution.

Dalibor Jevtic should head the Ministry of Communities and Return and Ivan Milojevic the Ministry of Regional Development. Both are members of the Serb List, the political party supported by Belgrade.

The third member of a minority group to head a ministry should be Emilija Rexhepi, a Bosniak, in charge of Local Administration.

Kurti’s party and its coalition partner, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), will have six ministries and a deputy minister each.  

Later on Monday Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci congratulated his country for forming a new government after last October’s general vote.

The US ambassador to Kosovo, the German embassy and the EU representative tweeted regards and welcomed the formation of the new government.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566248/Kosovo-forms-new-governmnet-two-Serb-ministers.html

Russian ambassador says Moscow will join in Kosovo dialogue if invited

February 3, 2020

Russia’s Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Botsan Harchenko told Monday’s issue of Belgrade daily Blic that Moscow will join in the dialogue on Kosovo if Belgrade invites it to do so but warned that an agreement can’t be reached without Russia and the UN Security Council.

According to the ambassador, Russia always wanted to see Belgrade and Pristina continue their talks but was concerned by the desire to find a solution quickly. “I don’t believe there is a quick solution unless someothing that is unacceptable for Belgrade is imposed such as recognition of the independence of Kosovo,” he said commenting Washington’s efforts to resolve the problems in relations between Belgrade and Pristina quickly.  

The ambassador denied claims that Russia does not want a solution to be found so that it could maintain its influence in the region through Serbia. Russia’s interest was always to see the talks continue, he said.  

“If the international community wants to make a positive and significant contribution it has to learn a lesson from what has already happened and understand the current situation which suits no one in the region, Europe or Washington,” he said. The ambassador said that the talks have to be brought back to UN Security Council resolution 1244 as their foundation.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a566070/Russian-ambassador-says-Moscow-will-join-in-Kosovo-dialogue-if-invited-by-Belgrade.html

Ambassador Field explains what Brexit means for Bosnia

January 30, 2020

On 31 January, the UK leaves the European Union. With this departure, the UK Government fulfils a commitment made following the referendum of 2016. This was a democratic decision, and a historic one. It is understandable to ask what this means for the UK in Bosnia and Herzegovina – a country working to join that same organisation – and in the wider world. In both senses, you will see more not less of the UK, UK Ambassador to Bosnia Matt Field wrote in his latest blog.

“I regularly ask people across BiH what specifically they would like the UK to focus on, to inform our priorities. So we are helping to reduce red tape for business to create more and better jobs, and depoliticising public companies to provide better services to citizens, especially in healthcare, transport and the environment,” he said, adding: “We are supporting more transparent and stronger courts, to tackle corruption and organised crime, and strengthening the election process to build confidence in results.”

“We are teaching coding and critical thinking in every BiH primary school, and sending the largest ever group of BiH scholars to the UK to study, to prepare them for 21st century jobs. And we are supporting reforms in the BiH Armed Forces, to protect BiH interests and contribute to international security,” said the ambassador.

During the period ahead, the UK will work with the EU to agree the next stage of their relationship, across the many economic, security, environmental and other areas in which we are present today, Field explained, noting that his country is leaving the EU but not Europe and will continue to play “the same active role close to home.”

“You will see us continue to work closely with the EU as a partner, because our interests, history and goals remain so closely aligned. This is important in BiH, a country working to join the EU. It is not the UK’s place to tell BiH whether or not to join, but we do respect the overwhelming support here for that aim. And we will ensure our practical support complements the demands of EU accession, especially in the critical areas of rule of law, democratic institutions and creating economic opportunity, because these are the right things for BiH in the short-term, irrespective of EU membership in the long-term,” he said.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407181/Ambassador-Field-explains-what-Brexit-means-for-Bosnia.html

Spain threatens boycott of Zagreb summit over Kosovo

January 30, 2020

Spain is threatening to boycott the May 6-7 European Union summit in Zagreb because Kosovo will attend on an equal footing with other Western Balkan countries, Radio Free Europe reported on Wednesday.

Croatia, which has taken over the EU presidency for the first time, wants to confirm the European perspective for all the countries of the Western Balkans at the summit. Spain is one of five EU member states that do not recognize Kosovo and has been disputing Kosovo’s participation at European-level gatherings.  

RFE quoted what it said are reliable sources who told it that Spanish officials warned EU chair Croatia that Madrid would not be sending a delegation to Zagreb because Kosovo has been granted equal status with the other countries of the region. It added that several sources confirmed that other EU member states have been informed that Spain might not come to Zagreb.  

The Spanish government has not been willing to make an official statement because it has not received an official invitation yet. “It is too early to confirm the Prime Minister’s participation because we have not yet received an invitation from the Croatian presidency,” Spain’s EU embassy said.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407111/Spain-threatens-boycott-of-Zagreb-summit-over-Kosovo.html

The parties that got the most public budget money between 2004 and 2016

January 30, 2020

Ten parties in Bosnia have received 76,63 percent of more than 245 million Bosnian Marks from public budgets between 2004 and 2016, with the main Bosniak Party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), taking the lead.

The SDA got 18,91 percent of the total sum over a twelve-year period, followed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 13,96 percent, while the main Bosnian Serb party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), received 10,68 percent.

The Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina got 8,72 percent, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) eight percent, the Serb Democratic Party 6,03 percent, the Union for a Better Future 3,19 percent, the Party for Democratic Progress (PDP) 2,72 percent, the Peoples Party for Work and Betterment 2,18 percent and the Croat Democratic Union 1990 (HDZ 1990) 2,25 percent.

Most of the money came from the governments of Bosnia’s two semi-autonomous entities - the Federation (FBiH), shared mostly between Bosniaks and Croats, and from Republika Srpska (RS), mostly populated by Serbs.

The FBiH gave more than 12 million Bosnian Marks to political parties, which makes up more than 66 percent of the total amount parties received in Bosnia.

The other semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska (RS), gave more than 4,8 million Bosnian Marks, or 26,81 percent.

The Brcko District gave more than 250,000 Bosnian Marks, 1,43 percent of the total.

More than 940,000 Bosnian Marks, or 5,22 percent, came from the state-level budget.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407095/The-parties-that-got-the-most-public-budget-money-between-2004-and-2016.html

Serbia’s elections on April 26, Vucic’s chief of staff confirms

February 2, 2020

Nikola Selakovic, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic’s chief of staff, told the Belgrade Prva TV that the parliamentary and local elections in the country would be held on April 26.

Vucic earlier said they could be called for April 19 or 26, but the latter was chosen since the Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter a week before.

The leading opposition group the Alliance for Serbia (SZS) officially launched the boycott campaign on Saturday.

Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has submitted a motion to the Parliament to lower the election threshold from five to three percent, thus enabling smaller parties to enter the Assembly and reduce the effect of the boycott.  

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a565972/People-in-Serbia-go-to-polls-on-April-26.html

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