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3. February 2020.

The joint appearance of the Albanian parties in the upcoming elections is a good decision for both their national community and Serbia, said Zoran Stankovic, the President of the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja. In doing so, they confirm that they have become aware that they will, together with everyone else living in the country in which they live, and by complying with the Constitution, law and the adopted conventions on national minorities, participate in the resolution of all essential life issues. They are citizens of the Republic of Serbia and it is logical that they should participate in the elections, Mr. Stankovic said.  

That is how Zoran Stankovic, the President of the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo Bujanovac and Medvedja, commented for the “Evening News” daily the decision of the Albanian parties from those three municipalities to participate in elections in Serbia, which had been agreed in Tirana.

Do you think that the signing of the agreement right in Tirana can be interpreted as a kind of provocation?

I don't see it as a provocation. Prime Minister Edi Rama and the former and current Presidents of Albania, Bujar Nisani and Ilir Meta, stated  their clear positions during their visits to Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja - that the Albanians are citizens of Serbia and that all their problems and needs should be resolved by the bodies and institutions of their country.

Some Albanian political leaders are not renouncing the dream of joining, as they say, the "Presevo Valley with Kosovo.

For the umpteenth time I say that these three municipalities were, are and will be an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, whether you like it or not. Such aspirations of individuals are the daily political gathering of cheap points and demagogies, while that kind of action has never produced any positive results.

Do you believe that the plan of going to the polls was formulated without the prior agreement of Tirana and Pristina?

Pristina's so-called political "elite" has never had any significant influence on the decision-making of the Albanian leaders from these municipalities. They now realize that the most reasonable way to deal with all the issues is within the institutions of their country. Support for going to the polls carries weight because it comes from the motherland, which no one can dispute.

To what extent is entering the election race a guarantee that they will participate in the next census?

They have done themselves harm by boycotting it. I believe that they will participate in the census next year, because the state projects the budget funds after having had an insight into the number of people belonging to a national minority. Practically, by participating in the census, they would provide more financial resources for their community.

How much is invested in the three municipalities situated in the southern part of central Serbia?

In December 2020, the Coordination Body will have its 20th. anniversary, and in addition to regular budget allocations, more than 120 million euros from our country and the international community will have been invested in these three municipalities during that period

Source: “Evening News” and Coordination Body