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Belgrade Media Report, 27 July 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Monday 27 July 2020

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic with Chinese Ambassador about Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (RTV)
Vucic grateful for Israel’s position to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia (RTV/RTS)
Vucic: If Pristina is not calmed down by mentors, we will be five times more successful in withdrawals of recognitions (RTS/B92)
Dacic: Serbia will have an answer to Hoti’s announcement on continuation of lobbying (RTS/Tanjug/Sputnik)
Djuric: They should better send Pristina the Brussels agreement, you cannot enter the UN with a tank (RTS)
Lajcak, Reeker discuss Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (Beta)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

HDZ B&H announces it will not support anything that newly-appointed B&H Minister of Security Selmo Cikotic proposes (BHT1)
Covic: Unacceptable precedent was made by announcing organization of special elections for Mostar (BHT1)
Officials in B&H react to Covic’s letter (N1)
Croatia

President says would like to see Deputy PM Milosevic at “Storm” anniversary (Hina/N1)
Montenegro

Preparation of electoral rolls underway, leaders of parties promised to increase women’s representation to 40% (Dan)
Elaborate preparations of DPS: Support beyond expectation (CDM)
DPS: We will defeat the policy personified by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro (CDM)
Democrats running independently in Budva elections (Dan)
Dacic laments the destiny of Knin Serbs, while he himself shaped it (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia

AA/A spokesperson: We don’t exclude anyone, but it would be very difficult with DUI in the government (MIA)
Osmani: These are the five pillars of the Albanian platform (Republika/TV21)
Albania

Socialist majority is changing the constitution (Tirana Times)

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LOCAL PRESS 

Vucic with Chinese Ambassador about Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (RTV

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met today with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Chen Bo and reiterated his gratitude for the support that Serbia received from China and President Xi Jinping, especially for the help rendered during the coronavirus epidemic.

Vucic was interested in the results achieved by Chinese experts in the development of a coronavirus vaccine and expressed satisfaction with their progress. Agreeing that the projects where Serbia and China work together are progressing well, thanks to mutual understanding and personal contact between President Vucic and President Xi, the two interlocutors also discussed the current regional situation, especially the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Vucic grateful for Israel’s position to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia (RTV/RTS

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met today for a farewell visit the Ambassador of the State of Israel, Alona Fisher-Kamm and thanked her for all she did during her diplomatic post in Belgrade for the relations between the two countries. Vucic expressed satisfaction with the constant progress of the political dialogue and economic cooperation between Serbia and Israel. He pointed out that the mutual understanding and solidarity of the two peoples – who throughout history often shared a tragic fate – contributed to that, especially during the World War II. Fisher-Kamm said that, during her work in Belgrade, she witnessed the exceptional engagement of President Vucic in establishing closer ties between the two countries. She mentioned the address at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, which, as she said, touched the hearts of the Jewish people, as well as many legal solutions that Serbia brought to uphold the rights of the Jewish community. They expressed hope that in the coming years, more Israeli investors will get to know each other better and use the favorable conditions for investing in the Serbian market.

The Serbian President and the Israeli Ambassador also discussed the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Vucic thanked Ambassador Fisher-Kamm for Israel’s position to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia and not to recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, as well as for its support for the peaceful resolution of this crucial issue.

Vucic: If Pristina is not calmed down by mentors, we will be five times more successful in withdrawals of recognitions (RTS/B92

Asked to comment on Kosovo Prime Minister Hoti’s statement that Pristina will continue to lobby for membership in international organizations and what Serbia’s response will be when it comes to continuing the dialogue, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said three things were important. “Firstly – the word of the Albanians from Pristina means nothing, nor their signature. Secondly – it is expected that no one from international organizations will react, maybe they will tell them something in our presence. Thirdly – we must keep the peace and stability, showing that we are rational people, that we are a reliable partner and people who want peace and compromise,” he says. According to him, we will continue with the derecognition campaign and we will be five times more successful, if none of the foreign actors prevents them in the further process of lobbying for the presence in international organizations. “We will wait to see the first organization they want to join or the first country that wants to recognize Kosovo’s independence, and then we will continue our campaign,” he said. He notes that by raising tensions one cannot achieve anything, saying that Serbian services should not be underestimated. “They think that you will be able to achieve your goals in Kosovo by raising tensions in the south of central Serbia. We will be calm, respect the rights of Albanians in our country, talk to them, fight together with them for a better life of all people. But if someone thinks that any kind of peaceful and armed provocations will pass and that they will achieve certain results – you are not going to be watching that movie,” said Vucic. The Americans, Turks and Germans are taking care of their child, Vucic said, commenting on the news that another contingent of armored vehicles from the US has arrived in Kosovo and Metohija. Vucic says that the Serbian security services are familiar with that delivery and that Serbia immediately knows what is coming to Kosovo and Metohija, and adds that the hammers arrived in Kosovo and Metohija on 20 July. “We know what they get and what they have,” Vucic said, adding that the other day he said that it was unlikely that “leopard” tanks would be delivered to Kosovo and Metohija from Germany. Vucic says that the Hummers are beautiful vehicles, but that he would not compare those small “4×4” vehicles with the giants such as “6×6 or 8×8”. “Americans, Turks, Germans, they all take care of their beloved child… And that’s all right. It’s so nice, for the exhibition,” the President remarked in response to a question from a journalist in Sremska Mitrovica, where he visited the 15th tank battalion of the First Brigade of the Land Army in the “Bosko Palkovljevic Pinki” barracks and attended demonstrations of the capabilities of the tank company and the modernized artillery battery of the “Fire” system.

Dacic: Serbia will have an answer to Hoti’s announcement on continuation of lobbying (RTS/Tanjug/Sputnik

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Saturday that the Serbian government, in agreement with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, will have an answer to Pristina’s announcement that it will continue lobbying for recognition of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. In a statement for Sputnik regarding the statement of Prime Minister of the Provisional Institutions in Pristina Avdulah Hoti that the lobbying was not suspended, Dacic said that this does not surprise him. He recalled that Belgrade, immediately after the announcement of US Special Envoy Richard Grenell, expressed doubt that Pristina would abide by the agreement to give up lobbying. “They are lying all the time of the dialogue, lie is the basis of their existence. They do not want any agreement or compromise, they just want Serbia to recognize Kosovo, he said and underlined that such behavior is absolutely unacceptable for Serbia.

Djuric: They should better send Pristina the Brussels agreement, you cannot enter the UN with a tank (RTS

Certain NATO countries are competing on who will deliver more and better arms to Pristina. Gentlemen, if you wish to help the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, send them books, but don’t send them tanks, because you will never enter the UN, neither UNESCO not Interpol, with tanks, said the Head of the Office for Kosoo and Metohija Marko Djuric. He told the morning news of Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) that Serbia is always determined for peace, but also ready to protect its own. “We Serbs have never been afraid of anyone’s force, we were always determined for peace and always ready to protect what is ours. You were able to hear this from the Serbian President yesterday as well,” said Djuric. “I think they should send them instead of tanks, books, to send them Resolution 1244, the UN Charter, and then to talk with them like humans. If Hoti can say that the only solution is within the valid constitution of so-called Kosovo, I will personally send him the Serbian Constitution, so he can learn that our Constitution is at least 200 years older in comparison to theirs,” said Djuric.

Lajcak, Reeker discuss Belgrade-Pristina dialogue (Beta

Miroslav Lajcak, the European Union’s special envoy to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue,

met in Brussels, on 24 July, with Philip Reeker, head of the State Department’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, and discussed EU-US cooperation in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Lajcak Tweeted a photograph of himself with Reeker and placed a caption reading that he and the US official discussed events in the West Balkans and cooperation in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. Announcing the meeting with Lajcak, Reeker said the US would continue to support and be involved in the EU-mediated dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels. The US official also met with Skender Hyseni, Kosovo’s coordinator for the dialogue

with Serbia.

REGIONAL PRESS 

 

HDZ B&H announces it will not support anything that newly-appointed B&H Minister of Security Selmo Cikotic proposes (BHT1)

Appointment of the new Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Minister of Security could cause serious upheavals in functioning of the authorities at the B&H level, primarily in functioning of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM). BHT1 stressed that SNSD representatives in the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) on Thursday tacitly did what SDA wanted and voted in favor of Selmo Cikotic‘s (SDA) appointment to the post of B&H Minister of Security although SNSD’s not at all positive attitude about the new B&H Minister of Security is known from before. SNSD representatives explained their support for Cikotic’s appointment with not wanting to interfere in SDA’s personnel policy. Spokesperson for SNSD Radovan Kovacevic stressed that SNSD would definitely never support Bisera Turkovic‘s (SDA) appointment to the post of B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs. “We do not believe that she is an adequate person for that job. We do not believe that she can in any way represent all constituent peoples and all citizens of B&H, but we respect that as a legitimate right of the Bosniak constituent people” Kovacevic underlined.

However, according to BHT1, many politicians and analysts have stressed that SNSD supported SDA because SDA in exchange enabled SNSD to get the positions of Director of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) of B&H and Director of the B&H Communications and Regulatory Agency (RAK). At the same time, HDZ B&H representatives have announced that they will not support anything that the newly-appointed B&H Minister of Security proposes. HDZ B&H representative in the B&H HoR Nikola Lovrinovic at Thursday’s session of the B&H HoR asked how one expects ministers in the B&H CoM coming from the Croat people to cooperate with the new B&H Minister of Security. “There is no way that we will support anything he proposes,” Lovrinovic underlined.  SDA representatives claim that it is not quite clear to them why Cikotic as a B&H Minister of Security is unacceptable for HDZ B&H, when he was acceptable when he was performing the duties of B&H Minister of Defense. Head of SDA Caucus in the B&H HoR Adil Osmanovic stressed that HDZ B&H representatives in the B&H HoR voting against Cikotic’s appointment can be tied to HDZ B&H’s dissatisfaction with the appointment of new members of the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC).  PDP representatives claim that appointments and division of party spoils is the only interest of SNSD, SDA and HDZ B&H, noting that because of this, there is a B&H CoM that has been doing nothing for a long time. PDP representative in the B&H HoR Branislav Borenovic said that the entire concept of the B&H CoM is controversial to him. “It is based only on positions and spoil,” Borenovic underlined. Political analyst Tanja Topic assessed that the entire process of functioning of the authorities in B&H has been reduced to endless mutual blackmail and to who will benefit the most from this entire situation. “In the end, despite the rebellion of HDZ B&H against Cikotic’s appointment, HDZ B&H will ultimately get what it is most interested in at this point, and that is control over the financial sector in B&H,” Topic underlined.

Covic: Unacceptable precedent was made by announcing organization of special elections for Mostar (BHT1)

HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic has sent a letter to international officials in B&H in regards to the decision of the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC) according to which local elections in Mostar will be held on December 20, 2020. In the letter, Covic stressed that the B&H CEC announced a decision that is in direct conflict with the political agreement reached between HDZ B&H and SDA which, according to him, successfully rounded the entire election issue. “An unacceptable precedent was made by announcing the organization of special elections for Mostar which again makes this local community an unforgivable exception,” Covic stated in the letter. Covic expressed belief that the international community will agree that at this time, any kind of new separation, election isolation of Mostar and its citizens from the rest of the society sends an unnecessarily bad image of that city, but also “an unacceptable message for all citizens who have for too long been the victims of various election and governance experiments directed by the then structures of the OHR”.  Before sending the letter, Covic had a video meeting with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi and told him the same thing. The letter he sent to the EU Delegation (EUD) to B&H, the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the OSCE, the US Embassy to B&H and the UK Embassy to B&H reads that “the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC), whose legitimacy is much weaker with the current convocation, published a decision that is opposite to the political agreement that successfully rounded up the overall elections-related problem”. The letter warns that holding “separate elections” for Mostar would once again make this local community an “unforgivable exception”. “In this context, I will use this opportunity to repeat the official stance of HDZ B&H and HNS (the Croat People’s Assembly), which was also presented to the public yesterday (Thursday), ‘that the elections in Mostar must be held on the same day as the local elections in all other local communities in B&H,” reads the letter.

Officials in B&H react to Covic’s letter (N1)

Commenting the letter that HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic sent to international organizations regarding the elections in Mostar and explaining the reasons as to why the local elections in Mostar were scheduled to take place on 20 December instead of 15 November, member of the B&H CEC Suad Arnautovic stated on Thursday that the agreement signed by SDA and HDZ B&H, which was then adopted at the B&H parliament in the form of amendments to the B&H Election Law, does not stipulate a deadline to call the elections. Arnautovic reminded that the B&H CEC warned the B&H parliament of the fact that the elections should be called at least 150 days before they are supposed to be held, as well as that additional interventions in the B&H Election Law are necessary if we want “unique” local elections. “We asked the B&H Parliament to make it possible for us to shorten the deadlines. Or you should shorten them and say that the deadlines for Mostar are not the same as for others – 150 days. They did not want to do that. Someone, some kind of policy wants to deliberately push us into an impossible situation. The first date we were able to schedule is 20 December,” Arnautovic argued. As opposed to Covic’s letter that reads that holding the local elections on the same day is an integral part of the political agreement between SDA and HDZ B&H, Chairman of the SDA City Board in Mostar Salem Maric argued that there is no such thing in the agreement but in the preamble. “The agreement clearly refers only to the issues related to amendments to the B&H Election Law and the Statute of the City of Mostar – and when they would be sent into the parliamentary procedure. At the same time, the preamble of the agreement, which consists of seven reasons or explanations as to why we reached the political agreement, only reads the following: ‘Expressing readiness to put additional efforts in order for the local elections in Mostar to be held together with the local elections in B&H,” Maric explained. Our Party member from Mostar, Ilma Baralija said that the last move made by Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) and HDZ B&H is insulting to one’s intelligence. She emphasized that the Central Election Commission (CEC) of B&H is not the body which should regulate laws when it comes to legally prescribed deadlines. She stated that when they were signing their proposal for holding of Mostar elections, they should have stipulated when they wanted the elections to be held, and that this should not have been done afterwards. She said that if they were really wanting to make changes, they should have omitted deadlines for this moment in time.  Leader of Platform for Progress Mirsad Hadzikadic said that he would like elections to be held on 4 October, and deemed that Mostar should not be made a separate case and be set apart from other elections. Hadzikadic said that holding of elections is questionable when it comes to Covic since he has done everything within his power for elections to never take place. He said that Platform for Progress is advocating for elections in Mostar to be held so that the fundamentals of the city which lead to integration is maintained.  SDP reminded that they submitted their proposal and a solution for the Mostar situation however that the Parliamentary majority did not give its support to their proposal. They reminded that Mostar is the issue of all citizens, and not two peoples exclusively. SDP leader Nermin Niksic that pressure is being made by HDZ B&H at this time, but also said that one should not be naïve to believe that HDZ B&H is doing this single handedly without coordination with those with whom they make up the majority. People and Justice leader Elmedin Konakovic said that there are three issues in Mostar. The first, is that HDZ B&H leader is striving to postpone holding of Mostar elections further with his statements of wanting to unite elections, which will, according to Konakovic, lead to postponement of elections. “The most dangerous thing is Covic’s stance of legitimate representatives, who according to his interpretation are only those who live on territory which HDZ controls, – this time we are talking about Croats. I see that Izetbegovic and Dodik are giving him big support in this which is the most dangerous part of this whole story,” Konakovic said.

 

President says would like to see Deputy PM Milosevic at “Storm” anniversary (Hina/N1

President Zoran Milanovic said on Sunday he would like to see Boris Milosevic, the deputy prime minister from the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), and its president Milorad Pupovac at the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm in Knin, which he said should be joy and not gloating over someone’s defeat. “It would be good, I’d like to see him there,” the President said on N1 television when asked if it would be good for Milosevic to attend the military operation anniversary on 5 August. “I think that would be a gesture… Whether he will be capable of it, whether the colleagues from the SDSS have the stomach for it… They have a problem with it. In smaller portions of the Serb people that is seen as a disaster, as persecution and as genocide, yet the story is a little complicated and I think Croatia can be proud of how that was planned, how it was done. After that there were mistakes which we are aware of and for which a price was paid,” the President said. If he is booed at the anniversary as he was when he was prime minister, Milanovic said he did not know how he would react. He said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic had started doing something about that and that one could no longer see in his vicinity “merry guys who come to provoke and act out.”

Knin shouldn’t be given the mythical significance 

The President said that Knin, which became a local center of the Serb rebellion in the 1990s by a combination of coincidences, should not be given mythical significance. “It’s a small town with Zvonimir’s Fortress and there is symbolism in that, but it’s not a mythical place in the modern Croatian history,” he said, adding that Operation Storm should be celebrated in Zagreb. Milanovic welcomed the fact that Milosevic was part of the new government, but said it would be better if members of ethnic minorities who were in the government had some executive powers. Asked why he did not attend the inauguration of the new parliament, he said one could likewise ask why he did not attend the new cabinet’s first session given that it was a body he would cooperate with much more than with parliament. “We don’t have a tradition, we are creating it. In these changes, I won’t be anyone’s epigone.”

 

Preparation of electoral rolls underway, leaders of parties promised to increase women’s representation to 40% (Dan

Women make up more than 50% of constituency in Montenegro. However, statistics from the electoral roll do not reflect the number of women represented in parliament and political parties. According to the current situation, political parties are obliged to determine 30%, i.e. one of four seats, for women on the electoral roll. If there is no 30% of women on the sheets, the State Election Commission, i.e. the Municipal Election Commission cannot approve the roll.

Following months-long negotiations that involved the relevant European and world’s organizations, leaders of the political parties in MNE pledged to increase women’s representation to 40%, i.e. one of four seats would belong to women. Now we shall see whether they are going to keep the promise as we are waiting for the councilor and MPs rolls for the local and parliamentary elections to be completed. UNDP resident representative for Montenegro, Daniela Gasparikova, called for the increase of women’s representation in the electoral roll.

Coordinators for Political Participation, ZPM, Maja Catovic and Snezana Jonica, told Dan daily that the electoral rolls would reflect the parties themselves and the level of their democratic capacities. “Women’s Political Network, ZPM, comprises representatives of 18 political parties and they all agree that women should make 40% of the electoral rolls, i.e. one of three candidates should be a woman,” Catovic pointed out. Jonica reminded that leaders of political parties used to compete to prove that their parties have been dedicated to respect of equality, noting that now they have the opportunity to prove they were telling the truth.

Elaborate preparations of DPS: Support beyond expectation (CDM

Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) had intensified the activities with the organization of the Central headquarters, headed by DPS president, Milo Djukanovic, with the representatives of municipal organizations and local self-government. According to the information, support assessments are beyond expectations. Over the last few days, meetings have been held with the representatives of municipal organizations and local self-government where this party is in power. DPS Deputy president, Dusko Markovic, attended the meetings, we well as members of the headquarters and coordinators of DPS in these municipalities. Plans are afoot for organizing meetings with the representatives of all municipal organizations. CDM source claims that the model and format of meetings will replace the classic election campaign.

DPS: We will defeat the policy personified by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro (CDM

The Serbian Orthodox Church’s resistance to the introduction of this religious community into the Montenegrin legal system, as well as its right to regularly declare and influence the issues of the strategic direction of state policy for decades, is based on manipulative claims that it is older than Montenegro, it was announced from the Democratic Party of Socialists. They state that this is nonsense, unless, they identify with the church as a universal religious institution – and that consequently it has the right to enjoy supranational authority. “We have witnessed that the Serbian Orthodox Church, for decades, has continuously and publicly comment on the issues of the character and future of the state and that it has actively tried to adapt them to its retrograde ideology and medieval dogmas, dealing more with politics than religion,” they added. From the leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church, one could hear that: Montenegro is a “Serbian state”, that the Montenegrin nation is a communist creation, that the Montenegrin language is an artificial invention and anti-Serbian conspiracy, that an independent CPC has never existed in history, that the legally elected authorities are treacherous etc. Therefore, the refusal of the Serbian Orthodox Church to legally regulate its status, as well as ignoring a series of consistent efforts of the government to find a solution on a sound basis regarding the Law on Religious Communities, is a consequence of their dismissal of the state of Montenegro and misunderstanding of their position. “All the rational compromises offered by the government were not only an expression of its intentions to act responsibly and show maximum flexibility, but also a realistic view of the situation and an assessment of the manipulative capacities of the Serbian Orthodox Church, its dignitaries and clergy.” The tendency of the Serbian Orthodox Church to serve itself as an instrument for manipulating anti-Montenegrin, anti-European, anti-state and retrograde policy in critical moments of history is proven,” they point out in that party. The last in a series of such instrumentalizations of the Church are its months-long protests, foe which Andrija Mandic himself said were initiated by the Democratic Front. As the officials of this party themselves, in recent days, in the absence of political dignity, hide behind the Church and publicly encourage each other that the Serbian Orthodox Church has “done its part of the job” and that it is up to them to complete it. “Therefore, when the DPS claims that it will definitely win against the policy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the upcoming elections, it is clear to everyone, except convinced manipulators, that it does not refer to a specific religious community, but to a policy whose instrument is consciously or unconsciously: nationalist, Greater Serbia ideology. which, due to its megalomaniacal goals, has already taken thousands of victims in this area and caused the greatest damage to the Serbian people. We will most certainly defeat this ridiculous policy on August 30, not only because our political platform is superior, but also because the policy of the nationalist opposition that hid behind the Church is retrograde, surpassed and denies all the values ​​of modern Europe, modern civilization to which the majority of Montenegro long ago agreed,” they conclude in this party.

Democrats running independently in Budva elections (Dan

The Democratic Montenegro has decided to run in the forthcoming local elections in Budva (on 30 August) independently, Dan daily reported. According to the paper, their candidate for Budva election race will be Krsto Radovic. Beside him, other candidates are: Mijomir Pejovic, Slavica Maslovar, Marko Markovic, Milivoje Radulovic, Gojko Lijesevic, Iva Midorovic, Zdravko Pavlovic, Djordje Zenovic, Zeljko Franeta, Veselinka Kalezic, Milo Duletic, Ivan Pejovic, Nemanja Zenovic, Andjela Becic, Dusko Gregovic, Krsto Vukovic, Nikola Sjekloca, Darija Kazenegra Medin, Nenad Franeta, Novak Ljubanovic, Nikola Bozovic, Nina Mrvaljevic, Marko Andric, Sasa Subara, Marija Tjuric, Zeljko Bjelica, Andja Budimir, Marija Majkic, Dusko Stojanovic, Milorad Babovic, Ivana Rebic and Marija Djedovic. On 16 October 2016, when the last elections in Budva happened, the Democrats and the Democratic Front, DF, won 7 seats, i.e. 14 altogether, thus winning a majority and defeating the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which got 12 seats. Last month, the DPS conquered power in Budva but the DF, Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party, SNP, didn’t want to accept the defeat, now planning to come back on 30 August.

Dacic laments the destiny of Knin Serbs, while he himself shaped it (CDM

After Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic commented on the announced attendance of representatives of Montenegro at the ‘morbid party’ on Knin fortress where the ‘Storm’ action was going to be celebrated, the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted, noting that Montenegro has been used to constant laments over the destiny of Knin Serbs by those same people who had shaped it, primarily Serbia’s diplomatic chief. “Unfortunately, it’s no longer a surprise that Montenegro has joined the only country in Europe that celebrates the ethnic cleansing of its own citizens. The current government in Podgorica has gone too far in spreading anti-Serbian policy, so after recognizing Kosovo and threats that they’d call NATO to defend them from Serbia and persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, this morbid party about to happen on Knin Fortress is completely logical,” Dacic told the Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti. After that, Montenegro’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted and assessed that the public in the region once again had the opportunity to witness his attempt to comment on every movement and every statement of officials and institutions in the countries of the region, especially when their statements are inconsistent with his own political beliefs.

 

AA/A spokesperson: We don’t exclude anyone, but it would be very difficult with DUI in the government (MIA)

Spokesperson of the coalition Alternative for Albanians and Alternativa (AA/A), Shefik Duraku when asked whether they are to sit at the same table with DUI in government, he said that they do not exclude anyone, however it would be very difficult with DUI in government, maybe impossible. “However, we will leave it to the political leaders. You know the numbers and the possibilities, there are many options,” he told reporters at Sunday’s press conference. Asked whether they hold talks with parties about a possible coalition, Duraku stressed that both as a coalition and individually, the political parties Alliance for Albanians and Alternativa have always communicated regularly with all political parties, from both the Albanian and the Macedonian political bloc. He added that the march for democracy, which they announced for Monday (27 July), is much more important for them now. The march for democracy is not just a protest, but an expression of the will of the Albanian citizens in North Macedonia, who believe that democracy and the way of expressing the free will of the Albanian citizens is seriously violated after the last elections, coalition Alliance for Albanians and Alternativa said Sunday.

Osmani: These are the five pillars of the Albanian platform (Republika/TV21

During an interview on TV21 Bujar Osmani from DUI welcomed the statements of the Alliance for Albanians / Alternativa coalition, where they say they do not rule out the possibility of sitting at the table and negotiating with DUI. According to Osmani, it is very important to have the consent for this, as he called it, Albanian platform in the political race, which should be permanent for the Albanian politics, and according to him these are the five main pillars for negotiations between the Albanian parties:

1. In the elections we do not run with more than two lists.

2. The party that wins most votes speaks on behalf of the Albanians in other municipalities.

3. The parties and the MPs who have less votes, support the first party that will speak about the strategic lines on behalf of all Albanian MPs, and will be the main corrector for daily political issues.

4. MPs from non-winning parties do not negotiate on the side to weaken the winning party’s negotiating positions (as in 2006).

5. Opportunity for cooperation in various forms in the interest of the citizens between the Albanian political parties, said Bujar Osmani.

 

Socialist majority is changing the constitution (Tirana Times

Constitutional amendments regarding the electoral form in Albania are taking shape as the Socialist majority will hold three plenary sessions scheduled for next week, in which the parliament is expected to officially approve the changes. On Thursday, a striking majority of the parliamentary opposition cast their votes in favor of the 5 June Agreement, thus receiving the support of the Socialists regarding the constitutional changes which allow for an open list system and banning of pre-electoral coalitions. Nevertheless, the Democratic Party and their allies have strongly opposed the proposed constitutional changes, claiming that the majority is making a unilateral decision. However, Prime Minister Edi Rama reaffirmed that constitutional changes will be voted during the next plenary session due to take place in the upcoming week.

 

The international community 

The approval of the 5 June Agreement was welcomed by the United States Embassy in Tirana. “This act respects the agreement made by all parties and moves Albania another step forward towards the European Union. We applaud all parties for ensuring that the June 5 agreement has been achieved, honored, and implemented in a manner that is inclusive and transparent. Such inclusiveness and transparency should be the norm for undertaking significant national actions. In this respect, we welcome the decision to reconvene the Political Council to discuss additional electoral reforms. All parties should participate in good faith; explain their positions clearly and fully to each other and to the Albanian people; and seek a resolution that benefits all of the Albanian people and continues to move the country forward on its democratic path” the Embassy’s statement reads. Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and the Delegation of the European Union in Tirana also welcomed the approvement of the 5 June Agreement, emphasizing that “it meets one of the main conditions for starting EU membership negotiations, as stated in the Council conclusions of 25 March 2020”. According to the EU delegation, “the new legislative provisions will give Albania an electoral framework with higher integrity and transparency standards, based on OSCE / ODIHR recommendations.” The OSCE Office in Tirana noted that “as with any reform, implementation is key. We remain ready to assist the Albanian authorities in this path, as well as for the development of other steps of reform. “We call on all parties to continue the dialogue for further reforms,” ​​the OSCE statement concluded. However, international voices also warned that discussions about the proposed constitutional amendments need to be inclusive. According to the US embassy, ​​the “comprehensive and transparent way” in which the 5 June Agreement was implemented “should be a norm for undertaking important national acts.” In this regard, we welcome the decision to reconvene the Political Council to discuss further electoral reforms. All parties must participate in good faith; to explain their positions clearly and completely to each other and to the Albanian people; and to seek a solution that is in the best interest of the entire Albanian people and continues to move the country forward on its democratic path.” The Delegation of the European Union on its part notes that “while acknowledging the role of the parliament in putting forward additional changes regarding the electoral system, we urge all parties to continue discussions in the Political Council with the same inclusive and collaborative spirit. The process leading to additional changes should not harm the spirit and results of the 5 June agreement.” Prime Minister Rama participated himself in the Political Council meeting convened three days ago, and another meeting is expected to take place. However, Rama warned that they will not wait too long for the constitutional amendments to take shape. “If they want to stay out, I assure you we will not try to bring them in. It is no longer time to deal with this educational process, that the SP has been asked to do continuously, and it has given encouraging results The agreement between the parliamentary forces will be voted on July 30, that is undisputed,” Rama said, adding that even possible international interventions will not make him change his mind in this case.

 

The opposition 

The opposition has kept its stance towards the approval of the 5 June agreement, claiming that “unilateral constitutional changes that undermine it, as well as the continuation of political dialogue between the parties, is the only way to maintain the consensus reached, which has been maintained. note from the partners and increases the chances for the start of Albania’s membership talks with the European Union.” “The United Opposition is ready to continue the dialogue in good faith and seriously, on any other issue, without compromising the results of the 5 June Agreement. The renunciation of unilateral acts that undermine the consensus reached after 6 months of efforts, and the commitment of all political parties to reach a consensus on every issue related to the elections, serves Albania and its European future,” the statement concludes.

 

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