Municipal leaders say they were sacked because of elections

ZVEČAN -- Former municipal leaders in northern Kosovo say the government dissolved their assemblies because of their opposition to participation in the local elections.

They are also opposed to the implementation of the Brussels agreement.

Former Zvečan mayor Dragiša Milović told a news conference that the decision came as expected because representatives of local self-governments were informed at the latest meetings with Serbian government officials and president that all those would be replaced who do not implement the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Priština and those who fail to vote in the elections or feature as list candidates.

Milović expressed the concern that the decision of the Serbian government can lead to destabilisation of the situation in northern Kosovo populated mainly by Serbs, and called for unity among citizens in the province.

If the turnout in the November 3 elections is high, it will send a message that the citizens are closing the door to their mother country Serbia, Milović believes. He said that by voting in the elections, northern Kosovo Serbs would lose the institutions and would get nothing in return.

"We could not agree to implement what the government calls the state policy of the Republic of Serbia because what the government is implementing through the Brussels agreement in the territory of Kosovo-Metohija is not the state policy of Serbia but the state policy of the so-called independent Kosovo," former Zubin Potok mayor Slaviša Ristić said.

“In this sense, we made it clear to the president, prime minister and deputy prime minister that we are not willing and we are not able to implement the policy which will separate the people and the territory from the Republic of Serbia,” Ristić said.

He noted that the allegation is false according to which the mandates in Zubin Potok and Zvečan expired as the elections in the two municipalities were held in May 2012 after the call was issued by the then Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović, and these elections have not been annulled.

The Wednesday press conference was attended by former mayors of Zubin Potok Stevan Božović, Zvečan Momčio Gvozdić and Leposavić Slavko Stevanović. All local self-government representatives said that they have not received the official notification about the government's decision to dissolve the municipal assemblies in northern Kosovo.

Serbia's Minister without portfolio in charge of Kosovo Aleksandar Vulin said on Tuesday that only the leading figures of four municipalities in northern Kosovo were replaced, and that the municipalities themselves were not dissolved, adding that the government would do everything to prevent a destabilisation in northern Kosovo.