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Belgrade Media Report 13 August

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Vucic with Irinej: Discussing all important national topics (B92)
Patriarch Irinej: Talks on Kosovo and Metohija uncertain, situation is difficult (Tanjug/B92/Nova)
Dacic: If Pristina does not respect agreements, we will continue with the campaign of withdrawing recognition (TV Prva/RTV/Tanjug)
Vulin: Serbia must neither forget nor forgive (Tanjug)


Bosnia & Herzegovina

B&H Procurement Review Body rejects appeal in case of tender for printing of ballots (Nova BH)
CEC starts process of verification of political entities for local elections in Mostar (Hayat)
SDP and NS sign coalition agreement in Mostar for elections in December (O Kanal/FTV)
Entrance of 155 illegal migrants prevented near Zvornik (Srna)

Voting in Montenegro can be conducted with an expired document, even from the SFRY period (Vijesti)
Markovic: There is no public officials’ campaign, we are only doing our job (CdM)
Djeljosaj: We are going to win two terms of office (Dan)
Republic of North Macedonia

Pendarovski hands mandate for formation of new government to Zaev (MIA)
DUI: We have not reached agreement with SDSM yet (Sitel TV)
Xhaferi cancels the session of parliament which would’ve revealed if Zaev has the necessary majority (Republika)
Kasami to skip meeting initiated by Ahmeti, proposed new model (MIA)

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Vucic with Irinej: Discussing all important national topics (B92

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Wednesday with Patriarch Irinej. He assessed the meeting on all important national topics as good. “A good and comprehensive conversation with His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Mr. Irinej about all important national topics, the fight for Kosovo and Metohija, the better position of Serbs in the region, as well as the completion of works in the St. Sava Temple in Belgrade,” reads the photo posted on Instagram profile buducnostsrbijeav – The Future of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic.

Patriarch Irinej: Talks on Kosovo and Metohija uncertain, situation is difficult (Tanjug/B92/Nova

Serbian Patriarch Irinej said on Wednesday evening that he and the Serbian President had agreed that talks between Belgrade and Pristina are uncertain and that the situation in Kosovo and Metohija is very difficult. “Talks that will be conducted are not something that promises a solution. So that this is still a problem that is ongoing. Kosovo is in a special situation and we will see how will this end,” said Patriarch Irinej.

Dacic: If Pristina does not respect agreements, we will continue with the campaign of withdrawing recognition (TV Prva/RTV/Tanjug)

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told TV Prva that there were indications that Pristina was working with countries that withdrew recognition to annul those decisions. “They are using this situation to achieve their goals. If we notice that not only is there no respect of agreements, but that they are behaving completely the opposite, we will continue with our campaign and we will certainly be much more successful than they are,” Dacic said. He stressed that Belgrade had clearly said that it wants a compromise and dialogue, but does not accept imposing of prepared in advance solutions, and that Pristina not only does not want a compromise, but its policy is based on lies, because first they accept something, sign, and then in the end, they do not want to implement it, as is the case with the Brussels agreement and the Community of Serb Municipalities. “Just as they have now accepted that they will have some moratorium on joining international organizations, and then Hoti said that they are actually not apply that. The question arises as to the purposefulness of such a dialogue in which you never know whether you have agreed on something or not. He said that the Serbian authorities have agreed to what Richard Grenell had asked of them, which is a temporary moratorium to withdrawals of recognitions, but noted that it would continue the campaign if it notices that Pristina was not respecting the agreement.

Vulin: Serbia must neither forget nor forgive (Tanjug

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin today asked why the investigation into the murder of Serb children in Gorazdevac has been abandoned, and pointed out that everyone has forgotten the killed Serb children, but that Serbia must neither forget nor forgive. Vulin said that 17 years ago, at the Bistrica River, Serb children were shot at, and that a KFOR commander swore that he would “turn over every stone” to find the killers. “As much as that pledge was worth, is how successful the investigation has been. Since they did not look for the killers, they did not find them,” the Serbian Defense Ministry quoted Vulin as having said. “Siptars are passing a law according to which we must not speak or think badly about members of the terrorist KLA – does that law also apply to the parents of Pantelija Dakic and Ivan Jovovic (shot dead at the Bistrica), should they also be silent when asked about KLA murderers?,” Vulin asked. “EULEX has officially stopped looking for the killers, they said that ‘there is no new evidence’,” Vulin pointed out and added that “there is no new evidence for Nazi crimes either, but the world is rightly still looking for Nazis 75 years after they killed their last victim”. “Why was the investigation into the murders in Gorazdevac abandoned, why is justice not available only to the Serbs? Everyone has forgotten the murdered Serb children in Gorazdevac, in Livadice, and during (Operation) Storm. Serbia must not forget, it must neither forget, nor forgive,” said Vulin.



B&H Procurement Review Body rejects appeal in case of tender for printing of ballots (Nova BH

The B&H Procurement Review Body rejected on Wednesday the appeal of a consortium from Banja Luka led by the company ‘Atlantik BB’ to a decision of the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC) on selection of the Sarajevo’s company ‘Unioninvestplastika’ that will print ballots for the upcoming local elections in B&H. Nova BH reported that thus, conditions for signing of the agreement were met and most likely, the local elections in B&H will be held after all. Chairperson of the B&H Procurement Review Body Zeljka Klobucar said that the attorney, who filed the appeal, was given the power of attorney only by one member of the group of bidders – who is the leader in the group – but he did not have the right to this type of the power of attorney from other members of the group of bidders in line with their consortium agreement. Commenting this decision, attorney Ostoja Kremenovic said over phone that he is surprised with this kind of a decision. Kremenovic said that he will consult his clients and he does not exclude the option to launch a procedure before the Court of B&H. President of the B&H CEC Zeljko Bakalar said that the process of printing of ballots continues.

CEC starts process of verification of political entities for local elections in Mostar (Hayat

The B&H Central Election Commission (CEC) started the process of verification of political entities for participation in the local elections in Mostar, scheduled to take place on 20 December. On Wednesday, the CEC verified the applications of 23 political parties that met the conditions to participate in the elections.

SDP and NS sign coalition agreement in Mostar for elections in December (O Kanal/FTV

Representatives of SDP and ‘Our Party’ (NS) met in Mostar on Wednesday to sign the Mostar Agreement for local elections in 2020. The agreement defines the coalition agreement for the two parties forming the ‘BH Bloc’ as well as their election program. SDP and NS stressed that their doors are open to other parties to join their coalition. They invited all parties that share their values and concern for citizens of Mostar to join. The BH Bloc plans to offer concrete projects that can be implemented. President of NS Predrag Kojovic said that they have been brought together by joint ideology and that is their lack of belief in a Mostar as it was until now and a Mostar defined by current election rules. “We believe in a Mostar which is one city where different ethnic groups live, like they always lived, as one city where citizens are primarily citizens and only then whatever they are based on ethnicity,” said Kojovic. President of SDP Nermin Niksic said that the party ‘Croat Party’ led by Bozo Skopljakovic will join their project despite not applying for elections in Mostar in time. The agreement was titled the Mostar Agreement and it presents the political program that the BH Bloc plans to present citizens of Mostar. Niksic said that their main rivals are representatives of ruling parties. “We do not agree with the politics of SDA that led us to a finished agreement. You know, they choose the staff, create a catastrophic agreement and then if you do not want to join this agreement you are against Mostar and the elections. We have our own path and our path is very clear and precise,” said Niksic.

Entrance of 155 illegal migrants prevented near Zvornik (Srna

Spokeswoman for B&H Border Police (BP) Franka Vican as saying for Srna that BP prevented 155 persons to illegally cross the border on Wednesday. She added that the B&H Border Police re-deploys personnel capacities and engages police officers from other police agencies to the parts of the border where the biggest migrant pressure is present and it conducts intensified supervision of the state border.


Voting in Montenegro can be conducted with an expired document, even from the SFRY period (Vijesti

The Montenegrin State Election Commission has passed the opinion that gives the possibility to citizens, whose documents had expired, to exercise their voting right, and there are around 30,000 of such citizens at present, Vijesti was confirmed. Commission members agreed at a session that citizens who do not replace personal documents until the elections to be allowed to vote, Commission President Aleksa Ivanovic told Vijesti. The opinion was established at the initiative of Democrats of Montenegro, and the Commission is of the stand that citizens who come to the polls need to be identified. If passing their document through the identification device confirms that it is legal, the fact that the validity date has expired should not prevent the voting, Vijesti was given the explanation. The Interior Ministry was not consulted for this stand since the Commission opines that the conducting of elections is in their jurisdiction. The Democrats request the opinion in the initiative, which was signed by the Presidency member Neven Gosovic, whether the voter will be able to prove identity at the 30 August elections and exercise the voting right based on a personal ID that was issued in line with the law, but whose validity date had expired. Gosovic noted in the initiative the data that the Interior Ministry had recently announced that 50,000 citizens hold documents with an expired validity date. General Director of the Directorate for Civic States and Personal Documents in the Interior Ministry Milanka Bakovic said on Tuesday that at the moment there are 30,000 citizens whose personal documents had expired. She said that out of 30,000 citizens there are around 7,500 citizens who do not have any kind of document or has an old one from the period of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

Markovic: There is no public officials’ campaign, we are only doing our job (CdM

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic rejected the claims of part of the opposition, analysts and the media that he and the government were running a “public officials’ campaign” and that they were abusing state resources for party purposes. “I consider it another unsubstantiated claim, because according to that logic, the Prime Minister and the government should lock their offices and suspend all activity in the pre-election period! However, life does not stand still and it would be extremely irresponsible towards the citizens and their needs to stop solving everyday problems while the elections are over. The example of the municipality of Budva is illustrative: should we have left hundreds of employees without personal income, just so that someone would not criticize the government of running a public officials’ campaign?” – said the Prime Minister. He reminds that the government was formed on the basis of the majority support of the citizens to the program of the Democratic Party of Socialists, which was presented in the campaign four years ago and was transferred to the four-year work agenda of the government. “There is nothing more logical than, in accordance with our work programe, to present our results to the citizens, to remind them of what we promised and what we fulfilled. And that is, above all, the obligation of the Prime Minister, as the most responsible for the realization of the government’s program. I can understand that the political opponents of the Democratic Party of Socialists are bothered by my activity in Montenegrin municipalities, because it is clearly confirmed once again that we have fulfilled and realised our promises from four years ago as much as possible. This is not an abuse of state resources, nor can it be called a public officials’ campaign, nor is there any violation of OSCE standards! In short: the government and the Prime Minister are just doing their job!” said Markovic.

Djeljosaj: We are going to win two terms of office (Dan

Your 20 minutes on 30 August will determine the direction this society will move to on the next four years, maybe even longer, said Nik Djeljosaj, holder of the coalition list “Albanian list – Genci Nimanbegu Nik Djeljosaj”. In the interview with Dan, Djeljosaj said that he was sure that they would win two terms of office. “Our work, principles in conduction our policy, proactive approach to dealing with existing problems concerning position of Albanian people in Montenegro gibes us right to believe that we will be even more successful in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. We are sure our voters will be resolute and that Albanian voters will recognize that Albanian issue cannot be improved without us,” Djeljosaj said. Identity questions are always questions of high priority. “A lot has been done but there’s still more to be done. Our slogan “Now is the time” suggests that we are going to deal with economic development of the area where Albanians live. Ulcinj and Tuzi have powerful resources for accelerated development. However, they haven’t seen many investment schemes over the past decade. We want to assume responsibility and work on our development,” Djeljosaj said. This pre-election campaign differs from previous campaigns. It will use all the benefits contemporary means of communication offer. “Our voters, especially diaspora, have expressed desire to unite. Our coalition was agreed long before we made it public. We waited until the very last moment so that we don’t rule out the possibility of going to elections with a unique Albanian list,” Djeljosaj said. Who will they form pre-election coalition with? The answer is clear. “With everyone who respects fundamental postulates of modern democracy, human rights, rule of law, with those who see democracy as priority and accept principles of European integration. Definitely not with those who want to destroy this country and deny the past, history, tradition, those who see Montenegro as a country where somebody should have more rights than others,” Djeljosaj said.


Pendarovski hands mandate for formation of new government to Zaev (MIA

President Stevo Pendarovski on Thursday handed the mandate for the formation of new government to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev. Speaking at the handover ceremony at Villa Vodno in Skopje, Zaev said the country most likely would get an efficient government before the 20-day government formation deadline expired. According to him, the new government will be committed to pursuing the right path toward the EU and to building the one society for all concept freed from nationalism and ethnic prejudice. It is an honor and a great responsibility as the leader of the SDSM-led We Can coalition to have been entrusted by President Pendarovski the mandate to form a new, European, democratic and responsible government with institutions even better equipped to serve the citizens. Starting now, in the next 20 days, we are tasked with creating a program and picking professionals who will be elected by parliament to serve the citizens, Zaev said in his speech. According to him, North Macedonia will get a government committed to the main objective EU integration, prosperity and long-term stability, economic development, fight against crime and corruption and cleaning up the judiciary. The government program will be mainly focused on the economy, salary and pension hikes, investments in youth, growth and development, committed to supporting those poverty-stricken and local businesses. I will be at the helm of a government that won’t go off the rails and that is determined to join the EU after joining NATO, Zaev said, mentioning the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which was signed on this day 19 years ago. Before handing over the mandate, Pendarovski delivered a short speech. Based on Article 84, according to Article 90 of the Constitution and the proposal of the We Can coalition, I name Zoran Zaev, SDSM leader and member of parliament, to be PM-designate to form the government, Pendarovski said. Under the Constitution’s Article 90, the PM-designate has 20 days to send to parliament a program and to nominate candidates for cabinet ministers. Parliament elects with a majority of votes the government upon a proposal of the PM-designate and the program.

DUI: We have not reached agreement with SDSM yet (Sitel TV

Shortly after President Stevo Pendarovski said that he will give the mandate to form the next government to SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev today, the DUI party informed the public that it has no coalition agreement with SDSM. DUI holds 15 seats and is seen as indispensable partner for any of the two major parties (VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM) who are trying to get to the needed 61 votes. DUI officials told Sitel TV that they understand Pendarovski is acting according to the established practice, but that there is no agreement for a coalition.

Xhaferi cancels the session of parliament which would’ve revealed if Zaev has the necessary majority (Republika

Outgoing speaker Talat Xhaferi cancelled the parliament session he called in order to elect a new speaker. Xhaferi planned the session for today, just as SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev is set to receive the mandate to form the next government from President Stevo Pendarovski. Zaev apparently still doesn’t have a coalition agreement with enough parties to get to the 61 votes that are needed, and forcing a vote on a new speaker today, which also requires 61 votes, would have weakened his position. That is why it was surprising that Xhaferi called the session in the first place, and it indicated posturing between Xhaferi’s DUI party and SDSM.

Kasami to skip meeting initiated by Ahmeti, proposed new model (MIA

Besa leader Bilal Kasami will not attend today’s meeting initiated by DUI leader Ali Ahmeti on occasion of the Ohrid Framework Agreement anniversary. Besa says in a press release the party favors a new model of meetings among political parties of ethnic Albanians, which would materialize after the formation of the new government. Besa reaffirms its principled position over the establishment of a new model of meetings among parties after the government formation, so that parliamentary parties of Albanians participating in the government commit to the realization of issues of exceptional interest for Albanians. Moreover, Albanian political parties participating in the government will, prior to the end of the term, give an account on the realization of jointly agreed issues, says Besa.

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