Samardžić on Kosovo vote, denies partition

BELGRADE -- Outgoing Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardžić, DSS, said Monday that local assemblies will be top bodies of power in Serb areas in Kosovo.

Slobodan Samardžić (Tanjug)
Slobodan Samardžić (Tanjug)

In addition to assemblies, executive councils will also be formed within the municipal structures he revealed in a news conference in Belgrade today.

"Now Serbs will address their own problems," Samardžić said, and added that the consequence of the local elections in the province is to know who are the Serb authorities in Kosovo.

The election of local authorities is particularly important, in terms of communication with UNMIK, Samardžić added.

UNMIK, the minister said, "whether or not it wants to, will end up communicating with the elected Serb representatives and will resolve local problems together with them".

After the elections, there are no divisions among the Kosovo Serbs, Samardžić added.

"Municipals leaderships, Samardžić explained, will act in keeping with the Serbian constitution and the laws in force, and resolve all problems independently or in agreement with Belgrade.

57 percent of those registered to vote in Kosovo turned out to cast their ballots on May 11..

The Radicals (SRS) won in 15 municipalities, the DSS will have the most councilors in six, as will various so-called citizens' lists.

Samardžić assessed that the elections by themselves will not resolve the problems of the Kosovo Serbs, but that "now there will be someone who will tackle them".

The DSS official also rejected accusations that the elections in the province were organized with the goal of partitioning the territory along ethnic lines.