Kosovo symbols "expected to be removed by week's end"

Krstimir Pantić has said that he expects "the international community and Brussels will exert pressure on Priština by the end of the week."

Source: Tanjug, TV Pink

The goal of the pressure would be "to remove the symbols representing Kosovo as a republic from election materials for the November 3 local elections," the mayoral candidate in northern Kosovska Mitrovica from the Citizens' Initiative Srpska list explained.

"If there is any symbol of that so-called republic in polling stations, no Serb will go to the polls, and incidents are also possible," Pantić said in a live broadcast on the Belgrade-based TV Pink on Monday morning.

"If election materials were such that they present Kosovo as an independent state, then the Serbian government should consider anew whether to call Serbs to cast their ballot," Pantić said.

"We are insisting that the Republic of Serbia intervenes in Brussels, so as to ensure that election materials are status-neutral," Pantić stressed.

According to Pantić, "everything that was received from Priština and the OSCE, and copies of the electoral roll, indicate that the elections were called by the so-called Republic of Kosovo and that they have Kosovo's coat of arms."

He underscored that fair and democratic elections with the logo of the Central Electoral Commission of Kosovo were agreed in Brussels, without Kosovo's coat of arms and the name "Republic of Kosovo."

Voting in elections and the formation of a community of Serb municipalities are the only way out for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, Pantić underlined.

"However, the international community is soft on Priština which is trying to avoid the implementation of almost all agreements reached in Brussels, while the Serbian government has implemented every agreement to the tiniest detail," he added.

"It is high time we stopped speaking in diplomatic terms and warned Brussels publicly that such a behavior is not allowed any more and that we cannot tolerate this any more," Pantić said.

The fact that a warrant has been issued for Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia's minister without portfolio in charge of Kosovo and Metohija, with announcements of the arrest if he appears there, "creates a bad atmosphere as Priština is doing everything in its power to ensure that Serbs do not vote," Pantić said.

"Over 250,000 Serbs were denied an opportunity to vote, these being internally displaced persons (IDPs) that had lived in Kosovo, while out of 40,000 who filed a registration application, only around 10,000 were granted the right to vote," he noted.

Pantić also voiced confidence that Serbia's First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and Vulin would go to Kosovo, and that Vulin would not be arrested.


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