Parliament adopts Constitution proposal
Source: B92, Beta
BELGRADE -- The parliament adopted the new Constitution proposal in a unanimous vote last night, defining Kosovo as part of Serbia.
The Parliament Speaker has set the constitution referendum dates for October 28 and 29, with the referendum question: “Are you in favor of confirming the Republic of Serbia’s new Constitution?”
“If it took experts and politicians six years to harmonize the wording and principles of the new constitution, then we must give citizens, who do not understand the importance of the legal terminology, as much time as possible to understand why the constitution matters”, Predrag Marković said.
According to him, citizens must be given time to organize and fulfill their obligations so that they can have their say on the new constitution. “The lawmakers will have to provide proof to their electorate in the coming four weeks of the importance the constitution has in all areas, including that of Serbia’s European integration. For this reason, I will not schedule a single parliament session until the end of October”, Marković concluded
The new constitution defines Serbia as the state of the Serbian people and all its citizens, designates the Cyrillic as the only official alphabet, and cancels public ownership. The parliament adopted the proposal on the sixth anniversary of Milošević’s downfall, when then new authorities promised Serbia would get a new constitution soon.
Serbian President Boris Tadić opened the parliament session last night by criticizing the fact public debate on the constitution was not opened earlier, but stressing that “at this moment, the most important thing is to adopt the new constitution”.
Tadić welcomed the decision to adopt a constitution defining Serbia as a state of the Serbian people and all its citizens, although he himself had earlier suggested a different definition: Serbia as a state of all its citizens.
While president Tadić was entering the parliament, several dozen Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) activists lead by the party leader Čedomir Jovanović, greeted him with loud protests, whistling and shouts of “treason”.
Tadić briefly approached one of the protesters, and responded to her claim that the new constitution was a disgrace and that he had betrayed Serbia saying, “You’ll have elections”.
The police securing the parameter around the parliament were reinforced by another brigade around half past nine in the evening. The protesters stopped the traffic, while some were sitting on the pavement lighting candles, occasionally being pushed by the police. They chanted “thieves”, “arrest Mladić”, “boycott”, carrying LDP flags.
Koštunica: Kosovo and the Constitution
Serbian prime minister Vojislav Koštunica also addressed the parliament.
He said the moment saw two natural things coming together: Kosovo and the Constitution, which, in his words, confirms that “Kosovo is and always will be a part of Serbia”.
“Our essential national interest is the defense of Kosovo. In your last session you have decided that Kosovo is simply ours! Tonight, to the satisfaction of the entire nation, you will vote… God willing, the state of Serbia will have a new Constitution”, Koštunica said addressing the lawmakers.
“Only with the Constitution our laws gain full meaning as they become a part of a whole”, Koštunica explained.
“Adopting a new constitution is a huge achievement. You have proposed this constitution, while my cabinet and I did everything to make this possible. We have to make sure there is also a referendum”, Koštunica said, calling on citizens to vote in favor of the proposed constitution at the forthcoming referendum.
Kosovo authorities and main opposition parties say the Serbian Parliament decision to adopt the new constitution will not influence the Kosovo status negotiations. Officials in Priština believe the decision is a political game played by Serbia, not contributing to the new quality of relations in the Balkans.
Kosovo prime minister’s deputy Lufti Haziri says this decision should be a signal to the international community to accept Kosovo’s independence: “This is an announced threat and a unilateral decision that will create problems in the future normalization of relations between an independent Kosovo and Serbia”.
Skender Hyseni, Kosovo negotiating team spokesman, says the Serbian Parliament’s decision aims to delay the Vienna talks process: “We are aware of such games played by Serbia. Kosovo will be a part of Serbia as much as Azerbaijan or any other state”.
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PRIŠTINA -- Livia Plaks, Project on Ethnic Relations president, says she doesn’t believe Serbs will leave Kosovo if it becomes independent.
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BELGRADE -- The Serbian Parliament will discuss the new constitutional proposal tonight.
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petak 29.09.2006 | 13:08 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
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petak 29.09.2006 | 13:04 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
PANČEVO -- Pančevo army base saw the formal establishment of the Serbian Army Special Brigade.
petak 29.09.2006 | 12:03 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Parliament has adopted the amendments to the Broadcasting Law which the Serbian President refused to sign on July 26.
petak 29.09.2006 | 10:17 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian parties reached an agreement last night on the contents of the new constitution proposal.
petak 29.09.2006 | 09:39 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
Helsinki -- Carla Del Ponte will meet the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn in Helsinki today.
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BELGRADE -- The Serbian president and Democratic Party chairman does not rule out post-election cooperation with Vojislav Koštunica.
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THE HAGUE, BRUSSELS -- Chief Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte will deliver a crucial report to the EU on Serbia's actions against war crimes suspects.
četvrtak 28.09.2006 | 15:08 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Boris Tadić told Kofi Annan that Serbia was marked with a number rather than a name, on the UN HQ map of the world.
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BELGRADE -- Sector meeting between the European Commission and the Serbian Government representatives takes place in Belgrade today.
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BELGRADE -- Discussions of the budget rebalancing proposal will continue in the Serbian Parliament today.
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NOVI SAD -- G17 Plus pleader Mlađan Dinkić said that his ministers will send their letters of resignation to the prime minister today.
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BELGRADE -- The Serbian Military’s Special Brigade will be officially formed on Friday, September 29.
sreda 27.09.2006 | 15:03 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (9) | Send comment
WASHINGTON -- Amnesty International has expressed fear that a solution will be imposed for the Kosovo status solution.
sreda 27.09.2006 | 11:20 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Daniel Fried will be meeting with the Albanian Kosovo status discussion delegation in Priština today.
sreda 27.09.2006 | 10:24 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The parliament will discuss amendments for the proposed budget rebalancing today.
sreda 27.09.2006 | 09:22 | Source: B92 | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Parliament will continue discussing the new constitutional proposal today.
utorak 26.09.2006 | 18:36 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
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utorak 26.09.2006 | 18:13 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (10) | Send comment
BRUSSELS, BELGRADE -- UNMIK chief says threats of violence in case Kosovo is not granted independence are unacceptable, but that he heard none.
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BELGRADE -- US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Euroasia, Daniel Fried, made an official visit to Belgrade yesterday.
utorak 26.09.2006 | 09:50 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- B92 received unofficial reports that the parliament may be voting on the new constitutional proposal by the end of the week.
ponedeljak 25.09.2006 | 20:35 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
NOVI SAD -- Nenad Čanak said that Hague fugitive Goran Hadžić is “being hidden away in monasteries in Fruška Gora.”
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BELGRADE -- The Serbian government has likely entered the last week of its stable functioning, since G17 Plus looks set to quit.
ponedeljak 25.09.2006 | 15:56 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
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ponedeljak 25.09.2006 | 10:31 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The bridge over the Ibar river in Kosovoska Mitrovica has opened for traffic.
ponedeljak 25.09.2006 | 09:53 | Source: B92 | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE, PRIŠTINA -- Dušan Janjić says the defining of the Kosovo stratus will start only after the Vienna talks conclude.