"Serbs are able to understand importance of elections"

BELGRADE -- Krstimir Pantić says it is "s vital that as many Serbs as possible come out and vote in the November 3 local elections in Kosovo."

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

Pantić, candidate for mayor of Kosovska Mitrovica on the "Citizens' Initiative Serbia" electoral list, spoke for Tanjug on Friday.

Pantić said that Serbs were “politically literate enough” to realize that a low turnout at the polls can only threaten their continued existence in the province.

He said that the Kosovo Albanians find a massive turnout of Serb voters not to be in their interest since “that means that they will no longer be in power in one third of the municipalities.”

Pantić said that such a turnout would “almost completely render the so-called independence (of Kosovo) meaningless” as the Serbs' institutions would be recognized and be an influential player in all developments in Kosovo, despite the fact that they do not recognize its unilaterally proclaimed independence.

“Albanians will certainly do everything they can to discourage Serbs from voting in the elections,” Pantić said.

The international community and the current Albanian institutions of government see the Serb institutions in Kosovo as illegal, illegitimate and parallel to their own, but after the elections, they will have to respect the elected representatives of the Serb people, he added.

Pantić stressed that to vote in the local elections in Kosovo and Metohija, especially in the Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo, is the only guarantee that the Serbs will get to keep the territories they live in.

Pantić, who is also deputy director of the of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, is confident that all Serbs “who carry in their hearts the Serb people in Kosovo, Kosovo and Metohija, and the Republic of Serbia” were relieved to hear the news that a united Serb list was submitted.

Pointing out that the electoral list was backed by the government in Belgrade, Pantić said that the Kosovo Serbs know they cannot survive without support from the Serbian government.