Parliamentary body won't condemn SNS MP

BELGRADE -- The Serbian parliament's collegium met on Thursday but would not distance itself and condemn the statements of the ruling SNS party MP Zoran Babić.

Borko Stefanović, right, is seen in parliament on Thursday (Beta)
Borko Stefanović, right, is seen in parliament on Thursday (Beta)

This is according to the opposition DS party MP Borko Stefanović, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

The Democrats (DS) sought an apology after Babić said they had "committed genocide against workers" while they were in power in the previous government.

ThemMeeting of the collegium ended after an hour and a half, and was attended by the Parliament Speaker Nebojša Stefanović (SNS), and caucus leaders.

Borko Stefanović told reporters that the participants "failed to find common ground and condemn (the statements), and for parliament to distance itself from the expression that has no place in parliament."

He said that the collegium heard some views that the statements were "part of political folklore, and that all sorts of things are being said about political opponents," while Babić "had a slightly wrong interpretation."

"Babić has repeatedly said he has no intention of apologizing," Stefanović stated, adding that the SNS MP should in fact apologize, "as members of his family were also the victims of genocide."

Stefanović noted that the speaker "missed the opportunity to put himself above political and partisan divisions," and explained that "no party supported the proposal that Babić should apologize and for a conclusion to be reached that would condemn his statements."

The Democrats earlier today sought an urgent meeting of the Collegium, and called on Nebojša Stefanović to react to the controversy.

The speaker commented by saying the DS was using "a new wave of insults aimed at the SNS to try and cover up the catastrophic situation that it left behind."