Electoral rolls for north submitted

BELGRADE -- The Serbian government has submitted the electoral rolls for local elections in Kosovo for four Serbian municipalities in the north, a daily has reported.

Veljko Odalović (Tanjug, file)
Veljko Odalović (Tanjug, file)

The Belgrade-based Blic also writes that there are already lists for the municipalities south of the Ibar River.

Veljko Odalović, team member for the implementation of the Brussels agreement, said that if Priština adhered to the agreement all those born in the territory of the province will be legible to vote in November.

Odalović explained that Belgrade and Priština are currently working on the harmonization of electoral rolls, but that this was "a formality."

"This is about errors in the master numbers and similar formalities. Based on our data, but also of what the OSCE in Priština submits, the central electoral list will be made. We sent the data for the four Serb municipalities because last time in 2009 Priština could not organize elections there," he said, adding that voters will be able to vote with valid documents, whether it is a Serbian identity card or that issued by Kosovo.

According to the agreement reached in Brussels, all those who reside in the territory of Kosovo, displaced persons, and all those that were born in the province are eligible to vote.

"It is also provided for by the Kosovo legislation. But the question is, will they honor this for the local elections or only for the parliamentary. We will try to harmonize this in the next rounds of negotiations with the Priština delegation," said Odalović.

Priština's insistsance on priting the logo of "the Republic of Kosovo" on ballot papers remains a big problem, which, the daily writes, the Serbian side "does not accepts for now."

Odalović said that during the talks in Brussels, held in the presence of EU's Catherine Ashton, it had been agreed that ballot papers should bear only the logo of the Central Election Commission of Kosovo.

"We believe they will give up on this, because according to the Brussels agreement the local elections are status-neutral. We are asking the OSCE to remove the sign of ' the Republic of Kosovo' from the ballot papers," Odalović was quoted as saying.

Local elections in the province will also be discussed during the next round of talks between Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci on August 27 in Brussels.

Dačić said yesterday that all Serb officials in Kosovo who have a policy of opposing the government would be replaced. According to him, no one has the right to pursue a policy that is contrary to state interests of Serbia, which at this point consist of Serbs in Kosovo "having their own legitimate and legally elected representatives who will be internationally recognized."