The Mayor of North Mitrovica, Goran Rakic, handed in his resignation today and the Assembly deputies signed a declaration on the termination of communication, cooperation, all business and institutional relations with the institutions in Pristina at an extraordinary municipal session held in North Mitrovica. The mayors and assembly deputies of the remaining three Serb-majority municipalities in the north made the same decision. Court employees sent a letter to the President of the Basic Court in Mitrovica asking him to reconsider, with the help of Serbian institutions, their future participation in judicial institutions in the Kosovo system. A peaceful protest was held after the session.
The Mayor of North Mitrovica municipality said that he resigned due to the introduction of „anti-civilian custom taxes“, which threatened Kosovo Serbs’ right to live, fair treatment and information, but also because of the „unwarranted arrest of northern Mitrovica citizens and the attempted murder“ of Srpska Lista Vice-President, Milan Radiocic.
„I scheduled an extraordinary session of the North Mitrovica MA today for only one reason – Pristina’s discriminatory decisions directed against the Serb people in Kosovo,“ Rakic said, whose resignation was greeted with an applause.
The Mayor of Zubin Potok, Stevan Vulovic also resigned, while all Serb members of the Zubin Potok Assembly signed the declaration. The session was not attended by deputies from the Albanian community.
Vulovic told RTS that he will ask the parliamentary speaker to announce elections within the Serbian system. Being present in Kosovo institutions for several years, he is labelled as a disgrace, happy to see its end and cleaning himself of the shame.
Following the mayor’s resignation, the chairman of North Mitrovica MA, Dejan Guresic read the declaration on the termination of communication of this local assembly with the central authorities. This declaration also includes charges, arrests, Radoicic’s murder attempt and Pristina’s violation of international agreements.
The employees of the North Mitrovica court decided to suspend operations in a show of solidarity with citizens who are protesting, RTS reported.
They sent a letter to the President of the court, asking him to reconsider and with the help of Serbian institutions, their future participation in judicial institutions in the Kosovo system.
The Kosovo government,on the other hand, reported having no information about the resignation of the mayors of the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo, Pristina-based Gazeta Express reported.
The head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric already announced, in the morning, that the four north Kosovo mayors will resign today and that the municipal administration will not function. He said it while talking on the Happy TV morning talk show right before the session started.
Djuric warned that this situation would remain until the tax increase is abolished.
The session was followed by a peaceful protest held in the very vicinity of North Mitrovica court. A large number of citizens protested against the increase of the customs tax to 100% imposed by the Kosovo government.
Rakic said that the reason for the protest was not only “the disgraceful taxes”, but also “the brutal action” of Kosovo special police unit.
The chief of Srpska Lista also announced more protests:
„We will not give up on these peaceful protests, we will continue every day, we will continue until these brutal, embarrassing decisions of Pristina are withdrawn.“
The new events follow in the midst of the latest tensions between Pristina and Belgrade since the Kosovo government raised customs tax on goods from Serbia to 100% and on Friday the Kosovo Special Police arrest of three suspects in the case of Oliver Ivanovic’s murder and failed attempt to arrest a fourth – the Vice President of Srpska Lista in the Grey Building in North Mitrovica. In the meantime, Oliver Ivanovic’s secretary for many years Silvana Arsovic was also detained for 48 hours to the shock of many citizens as she was perceived as one of the closest associated to the late Ivanovic and in deep grief over his death.
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