Pajtić: Declaration a call for rule of law

NOVI SAD -- Bojan Pajtić says the declaration on the protection of constitutional and legal rights of the Vojvodina was a call to rule of law and respect of obligations.

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

The president of the provincial government pointed out that Vojvodina's powers are unquestionable, and that the Constitution envisages that it has the right to seven percent of the state budget but it is not getting the whole amount.

If we received the funds envisaged in the Constitution, we could employ five times the number of current employees and we would have many more investments, Pajtić said at the session of the Vojvodina Assembly ahead of the debate on the draft declaration of the Vojvodina government.

Pajtić claims that less than RSD 100 per province citizen is allocated to Vojvodina's development which is why Vojvodina cannot develop better and the living conditions for its citizens cannot improve.

He underscored that citizens of Vojvodina have the right to get back what they earned, to choose those who would serve them and use their property as they see fit.

Pajtić recalled that there were a number of fierce political reactions to the draft declaration and several protests were staged in Novi Sad, adding that the document seeking respect of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia should not be a reason for protests and denials in a country hoping to get the date of EU accession talks soon.

Opposition parties stated that the draft declaration expresses separatist tendencies and participants of the protest in Novi Sad on April 12 which gathered around 30,000 people called for the withdrawal of the document, resignation of President of the Vojvodina government Bojan Pajtić and calling new elections.

After this, the original text of the declaration was slightly changed, including Point 2 which caused most controversy, saying that Vojvodina's autonomy is the historical and natural right of its citizens and that by their will, Vojvodina was incorporated into Serbia, according to the decision of the GreatPpeople's Assembly on November 25, 1918.

Instead, the document now states that Vojvodina's autonomy was brought about by the will of assembly members 27 years later, during the session of the Assembly in Novi Sad on July 30 and 31, 1945.

The opposition stated that the new text is even worse than the original one and Vice President of the Serb Progressive Party Igor Mirović warned that this is a dangerous act whereby the democratic legitimacy is drawn from a communist assembly held at a time of military administration.

Prior to the parliamentary debate, opposition representatives filed to the provincial government the signatures of 160,000 citizens in Vojvodina against the declaration, together with the request to sack Pajtić.

His adviser and Democratic Party (DS) spokesperson Aleksandra Jerkov, however, claims that "forgeries were used" in collecting the signatures, and that "persons whose names were in the lists testified to that."

Jerkov also said that they now expect the authorities to launch an investigation against unidentified persons for forging personal data.