"Serbs will go to polls if elections are status neutral"

Aleksandar Vulin stated Tuesday that Kosovo Serbs will vote in the forthcoming local elections in Kosovo and Metohija "if they are status neutral."

Source: Tanjug
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Priština proved to be a major obstacle for Serbs to vote in the local elections scheduled for November 3, Vulin said in Gazivode, where he laid the foundation stone for the regional water system for three Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo and Metohija.

Priština has shown it is dissatisfied with what was agreed in the Brussels dialogue, and that the only way to express this dissatisfaction is for the agreement not to be implemented, the director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija and minister without portfolio noted.

"If this agreement is not implemented, if the Serbs do not go to the polls, then Priština will have no problems. This is why we are waiting almost to the end of the deadline for the submission of lists of candidates, to definitely make sure that all election material is status neutral," Vulin said, adding the Serbs will vote only under this condition and that they will take part in the elections only under the condition of strict adherence to the rules of status neutrality.

"Priština did its best to make the Serbs not go to the polls, and now it is on the Serbs to prove that Priština's plan will not work," the minister said.

"There is no way to force the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija to recognize a state they do not consider their own," he added.

Vulin also stressed that Priština's is the biggest opponent of participation of Serbs in the elections and that a different image has been projected for years by saying that Priština wants to integrate the Serbs, that it is ready to cooperate just to make them take part in the elections and in institutions.

He pointed out that the list of Serb candidates, the candidates themselves and signatures are prepared, but that status neutral election material is still not ready.

The moment this is ready, and I have information that this will happen today, we are ready to come out with the lists, candidates and with a single Serb list on the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija, Vulin underlined.

Asked to explain what the status neutral material is, he said this means that the ballot sheet to be filled in by those who register for the elections or political parties should not contain Kosovo's emblem or the name of "the Republic of Kosovo."

"The only thing that the ballot paper can contain is the name of the Central Election Commission and nothing else, because these elections are not organized by the government of Kosovo, but by the Central Election Commission, especially as we have the role of OSCE in the elections," Vulin concluded.

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