Translation provided by KoSSev
The Serbian government appointed Aleksandar Martinovic, MP and SNS official, to a new post. Martinovic was elected as a member of the Council of the University of Pristina with temporary headquarters in North Mitrovica during the last government session. A number of prominent Srpska Lista officials have also been assigned to new posts in the council of the University and several faculties in North Mitrovica, including Goran Rakic, the Mayor of North Mitrovica, former cabinet ministers, Ivan Todosijevic and Dalibor Jevtic, MPs Slavko and Igor Simic. The Minister of Education, Mladen Sarcevic told Insajder that these appointments were neither illegal nor unusual.
Aleksandar Martinovic and ten other Srpska Lista officials were appointed to the Council of the University and several faculties in North Mitrovica all on one day – November 21st. They have been assigned to these posts, although the Law on Higher Education states that the government should elect members of the council of higher education institutions „from the ranks of prominent figures in the fields of science, culture, education, art, and economy“.
Aleksandar Martinovic, who was appointed as a member of the council by the government, is a longtime MP from the ranks of SNS. Along with his political engagement, Martinovic has been working at the Faculty of Law in Novi Sad for the past 18 years, and has been employed as a professor at the College of Medicine in Cuprija since last year. According to media reports, he recently received approval to teach at the Kragujevac Faculty of Medical Sciences.
Srpska Lista chief and the Mayor of North Mitrovica, Goran Rakic, a fellow SL official, Vinka Radosavljevic, and the president of the provisional body of the Zvecan Municipality, Ivan Todosijevic, were also appointed as members of the Council of the University of Pristina.
As an SL candidate, Todosijevic participated in the Kosovo parliamentary elections and was eligible to serve as an MP, having previously served as a Minister of Local Self-Government in Ramush Haradinaj’s government.
Todosijevic, however, told Insajder that he did not know he was appointed to this post.
„I don’t know anything about it. Maybe it is some other Ivan Todosijevic, there are a few of us,“ he said.
On the same day, Igor Simic, an SL spokesperson and MP in the Kosovo Parliament, was appointed a member of the Council of the Law Faculty in North Mitrovica. Also, Ljubinko Karadzic, who is also one of SL members who joined the Kosovo Assembly, was appointed to the same position. The government also elected Dalibor Jevtic, Vice-President of SL, who was Minister of Communities and Returns and Deputy Prime Minister in Ramush Haradinaj’s government, as a member of the Council of the Faculty of Law.
The government appointed two more SL members – Slavko Simic, who is set to join the new Assembly of Kosovo, and Zoran Mojsilovic, who was a member of the previous convocation of the Kosovo Assembly, to the Council of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education. Former Kosovo Deputy Minister of the Interior, Milan Radojevic was appointed a member of the Council at the Faculty of Economics.
„We talked about it in party meetings“
Radojevic told Insajder that he knew he was nominated for the post, adding that he was not aware that he was appointed.
„I don’t know any details. I can’t comment until it is official,“ he said.
Zoran Todic, the mayor of Leposavic municipality and Srpska Lista official, confirmed for Insajder that he was recommended as a member of the Council of the Faculty of Agriculture. Todic, however, said that he was not informed that he was elected. He added that this was discussed at party meetings.
„We discussed this, that we should send our recommendations for the council members in all faculties of the University of Pristina,“ Todic said.
When asked why this was discussed at party meetings, he replied that in addition to the party in question, the municipality’s management in cooperation with other municipalities and all institutions also discussed the same matter.
Asked what politicians are doing at universities and colleges, Todic told Insajder:
„Not just politicians. Who says they’re all politicians?“
Sarcevic: They are from the area
According to the Minister of Education, Mladen Sarcevic, the appointment of political officials as the members of the Council of the University and Faculties in North Mitrovica is not contentious. Specifically, speaking about the appointment of MP Aleksandar Martinovic as a member of the University Council, this minister told Insajder that it is „not against the law.“
The appointment of other political officials to the aforementioned positions is not problematic for Sarcevic either.
„It’s not unusual, they are from the area,“ he said.
When asked to comment on the Law on Higher Education which states that the government should elect members of the council in higher education institutions „from the ranks of prominent figures in the fields of science, culture, education, art and economy“, the Minister of Education said that the members are also elected from „public and social life“. However, this is not stated in the Law.
The University of Pristina with its provisional headquarters in North Mitrovica operates like all other universities in Serbia – it is financed from the budget of the Republic of Serbia. The university employees have the same rights as everyone else in Kosovo who receive their salary from the Serbian state budget, which means that they are also entitled to the Kosovo extra salary payments.
With the Kosovo extra salary payments, their wages will be increased by 50%.
How much money has been allocated for the extra salary payments from the budget this year has not been made public. The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic said last year that €71 million a year is allocated for these payments.
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