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Second Session of the Presidency of the Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, May 26, 2009

27. May 2009.

Moderate Optimism Following a Session of the Coordination Body's Presidency

The second session of the reconstructed Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja was held on the premises of the Coordination Body's Office in Bujanovac.

The session of the Presidency was dedicated to resolving the most important issues of the southern Serbian municipalities. A particular emphasis was put on the issue of establishing multiethnic governments in Bujanovac and Presevo, as well as on the issue of including Albanians in the local institutions of the Republic of Serbia.    

The session was attended by Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body, Sima Gazikalovic, Vice-President of the Coordination Body, Saip Kamberi and Slobodan Draskovic, Presidents of the municipalities of Bujanovac and Medvedja, as well as by Jonuz Musliu and Natasa Filic, Presidents of the Municipal Assemblies of Bujanovac and Medvedja. Ragmi Mustafa and Skender Destani, the recently elected President of the municipality of Presevo and President of the Municipal Assembly of Presevo, also participated in the session.

Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body, reiterated that establishment of multiethnic governments and integration of Albanians in the local republican institutions were of utmost importance for the future of the three municipalities. Mr. Markovic confirmed that the Coordination Body would continue putting an effort into reaching this goal. 

»We solved some dilemmas that we used to have in a practical manner. I think that we understand each other quite well. All members of the Coordination Body, from my Deputy to Presidents of the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, have a clear idea about how the Coordination Body should look like. It is a fact that perhaps we don't have the same views about the activities that should be undertaken, but one thing is certain, we'll continue working in a good and an open atmosphere« Mr. Markovic pointed out at the session.

Mr. Markovic stated that the establishment of multiethnic governments was very important for the municipalities of Presevo and Bujanovac and added that all teams of the Coordination Body, the task of which is to identify problems and the ways of solving them,    would be set up in the coming period.

»Everyone should assume responsibility for the future of the region and should work together at the local level. I am of the view that the participation of Serbs and Albanians in the executive government should be proportional to the results of the 2002 census« Mr. Markovic said.

Saip Kamberi, President of the municipality of Bujanovac and Deputy President of the Coordination Body, confirmed at the session that the coalition of the Albanian political parties, which is in power in this municipality, wasn’t against a multiethnic government. Mr.  Kamberi also said that »multiethnicity already exists in the municipality and public companies. « Mr. Kamberi underscored that Albanians expected that they would participate more in the Serbian republican bodies in Bujanovac.

Natasa Filic, President of the Municipal Assembly of Medvedja, pointed out that the multiethnic executive government in Medvedja operated well in the municipality and she asked her colleagues from Presevo and Bujanovac to follow Medvedja's suit.

Upon completion of the session, members of the Presidency of the Coordination Body met with Sasa Jankovic, Protector of Citizens (Ombudsman), who was, as part of the »Days of Ombudsman in South Serbia« project,   paying a visit to Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.

»Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja are in the region in which citizens, regardless of their ethnic background, don't have the possibility of turning to the competent bodies regarding their problems with inappropriate treatment, non-promptness etc« Sasa Jankovic said.

It was therefore, suggested that the Protector of Citizens' Office be opened in South Serbia, with the aim of improving the rights of citizens of the three municipalities.  

President of the Coordination Body stated that the aforementioned move was of huge importance for the citizens of the region and added that the Coordination Body would provide assistance with realizing this initiative.

Following the above meeting, Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body, and Sasa Jankovic, Protector of Citizens, held a press - conference on the premises of the Coordination Body’s Press Center in Bujanovac.