Committee on Kosovo calls for unity, high turnout

BELGRADE -- The Serbian Parliament Committee on Kosovo and Metohija on Thursday "called on political subjects to be united," Tanjug reported.

The committee "urged the citizens to vote in the repeated elections in Kosovo" and thus "give a contribution to the efforts aimed at strengthening the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo."

The committee called for "political unity in the fight for realization of rights of the government policy in Kosovo and for the creation of a peaceful, stable and secure atmosphere for fair and democratic local elections."

It condemned the violence in certain municipalities in Kosovo, especially in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, in the first round of local elections on Sunday.

The committee called on all bodies and institutions to gather all relevant information on the events in northern Kosovska Mitrovica on the election day, November 3, and conduct all the measures envisaged in the relevant laws.

DSS accused of "orchestrating incidents"

Advisor to the Serbian president Marko Đurić accused on Thursday the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) of having "orchestrated the recent incidents in Kosovo and Metohija during local elections," while the DSS rejected the accusations.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Kosovo, MPs of the opposition DSS said that the only way out of the situation that was created in northern Kosovo following the first round of local elections that were organized by interim institutions in Priština on Sunday is that the Serbian government calls elections in the four municipalities in the northern part of the province.

On the other hand, the opposition Democratic Party (DS) backs Serbs' voting in the partial re-run of local elections, but also calls on the government to stop dividing Serbs into good and bad ones and find a way for the people in Kosovo to vote in peace and without incidents.

With his activities in the northern part of the province, Marko Jakšić, an MP of the DSS from Kosovska Mitrovica, did more against the state policy and interests than anyone from Priština, the presidential advisor said.

Đurić asked whether someone maybe has the problem with the fact that Belgrade is changing the mode of financing in Kosovo, as earlier the state earmarked huge funds for the province, but money ended up in private pockets.

"I call on you to stop with the campaign that could have even worse consequences, as now we have the chance to present a united front in Kosovo," Đurić said.

Slobodan Samardžić, head of the DSS parliamentary group, said that the only way out is that the government calls elections in the four municipalities in northern Kosovo.

"I appeal to you to accept our initiative and form an inquiry committee (parliamentary) that would ascertain what happened in Kosovo," Samardžić said.

Marko Jakšić claimed that the government was behind the incidents that took place in the polling stations in Kosovska Mitrovica on Sunday, adding that it could not be concealed that the Brussels agreement is the greatest treason against the Serb people.

Borislav Stefanović, a DS member of the committee, said that the DS fully supports Serbs' voting in elections, but also defends the right of the DSS to a different opinion

"My differences in relation to the DSS are deep, but that does not mean that we should consider each other enemies. Try not to divide Serbs into good and bad ones, and try to find a way to ensure a peaceful polling day in the second round," Stefanović said.