Although elections in the north passed off peacefully, the Quinta Group recalled the conclusions of the EU Election Observation Mission in 2017, which expressed serious concern over the intimidation of political parties who ran against Srpska Lista. The Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reacted to this announcement by congratulating them on their „inventiveness“ and claiming that it is “the stupidest thing he has ever heard.“
„I want to congratulate them on their inventiveness. That is the stupidest thing I have ever read,“ Vucic stated.
The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States sent a message to the public yesterday regarding the electoral process in the municipalities in the north of Kosovo, where the candidates of Srpska Lista won in all four municipalities.
Although the elections were peaceful, the Quinta Group recalled the conclusions of the 2017 European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM), which expressed serious concern over the intimidation of political parties that ran against Srpska Lista.
„These deficiencies, as well as the requirements for updating voter lists and clarifying procedures, remain unresolved and lead to limited electoral competition and limited political participation, which raises questions about the overall democratic process in these areas,“ the Quinta Group stated.
The day after the elections ended, they called for an „urgent solution“ to these deficiencies and the implementation of the recommendations of the European Union Election Observation Mission.
Vucic said that all countries belonging to Quinta sent their observers „to find some sort of irregularity and mistake for which they would accuse Serbs in the north of Kosovo.“ According to the president, however, they were unable to find anything.
He believes that this was precisely the reason why they issued a statement claiming that there were pressures during the 2017 elections.
„It’s like you asked me something and I told you – but let me remind you that the opposite happened in 2017. What sense does that make?“ he added.
Vucic concluded that this shows „how sorry someone is that the elections have passed peacefully and orderly“.
When asked to comment on media reports that only those who had any interest came to the polls in the north, the president of Serbia replied: „So 25,000 people had a personal interest?“
He added that more people took part in these local elections this year than the ones held in 2017.
The president noted that Serb and Albanian sides have different population census and that there are not as many people in the north as the Albanian side is claiming.
„Our side and the Albanian side do not have the same census. They said there are 58,000 people – voters. We do not have nearly as many people in the north of Kosovo,“ Vucic said.
The President of Serbia also spoke about the number of Serbs living in Kosovo in August of last year. At the time, the president said that 3-4% of the total population lives in the north or „43-44,000 people.“
Meeting with Srpska Lista on Friday
President Vucic will meet with representatives of Srpska Lista in Belgrade on Friday. Replying to a journalist’s comment that the representatives of this party have „high expectations ahead of their arrival to Belgrade,“ the president said: „It is better that we keep our feet on the ground.“
„I wouldn’t want anyone to have great expectations when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija. It is better that we keep our feet on the ground, to be well-grounded where we are and not to nurture high expectations, but to fight in every way for the interests of our people and the country,“ Vucic explained.
He said that he would openly talk with Srpska Lista „about everything.” “First, I will listen to them, and then I will tell them my thoughts on everything,” he stressed.
„On the one hand, we must show determination in our desire to survive on our centuries-old hearths, and on the other hand, we must show restraint, calmness, tolerance and sufficient wisdom that we did not always, at every historical moment, possess,“ the President of Serbia concluded.
The decision to resign again?
After confirming their participation in the elections, which were announced after their resignations, the representatives of Srpska Lista indicated that they could resign again after the re-election because their demands for the abolition of the taxes and the release of the Serbs arrested on the suspicions of being involved in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic were not fulfilled.
The President of Serbia also said at the time that the participation in the election is not the final decision because „when they win, they can resign again.“
The Mayor of North Mitrovica, Goran Rakic confirmed the possibility that this could happen on the election day. When asked whether he would resign if he won, Rakic said that he would „wait until the elections are over.“
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