News archive

September 11, 2010

11. September 2010.


Reform of Political System Completely Blocked

Some politicians from South Serbia use national demagogy in order to maintain their own political positions. Such statements can’t do anyone any good. This is how Milan Markovic, Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and President of the Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, comments on the increasingly inflammatory statements coming from South Serbia.

- Ragmi Mustafa, President of the Municipality of Presevo, claims that the Albanians from South Serbia should get the same as the Serbs from the northern part of independent Kosovo?

- Such statements aren’t in the interest of the people living in the municipality of Presevo. Instead of using the national demagogy and changing the theses, we should all dedicate ourselves to providing stable conditions for employment of the people, for integration of the Albanians in the Republican institutions and of the Serbs in the local self-governmental bodies, for resolving the education – related issues and for eradicating poverty, which is widespread in this municipality. I am of the view that some politicians make such statements because they lack replies to these questions.

- Should Serbia respond more harshly to the inflammatory rhetoric of the Albanian leaders from South Serbia, whose statements, among other things, violate the Serbian constitution?

 - Such statements are a kind of a trap, and if we fell into it, we would be equally irresponsible as those who had made them. I’m aware that such statements and the responses to them make one popular among those constituting a portion of the electorate. However, if we all made such statements, it would be just a matter of time when we would have to face very serious and bad consequences.

- Proposals for exchanging the northern part of Kosovo with South Serbia, which are made by the Kosovo public, may be heard increasingly more often. Are such kind of „behind the closed-doors negotiations“conducted?

- Our stand on the territorial integrity of Serbia is completely clear, so that the giving of such proposals is pointless.

- How much did Serbia do regarding the integration of the Albanians in the governmental system and of the Serbs in the self-governmental systems of Presevo and Bujanovac?

- We are doing a great deal, but the situation is very complicated and rather at loose ends. We established a high degree of confidence and achieved a few important results. However, we will have to be very patient and responsible, as well as do a lot of work together, in order to be able to permanently resolve the ballast from the past.

- How do you assess the announcement of opposition that it would demand elections and fall of the government following the UN General Assembly’s session?

- Opposition has a legitimate right to criticize the government, but I think it’s clear to everyone in Serbia that the government puts a great deal of effort into defending its state and national interests. It is in a very difficult situation, which is inherited from the past and which wasn’t hidden from the public. It is a consequence of both the historical circumstances and bad political mistakes made in the past.  All those that are criticizing the government had an opportunity to show what they could do regarding this issue. Had they managed to accomplish anything, we wouldn’t have been in the position in which we are now.

- Are the new election laws going to be adopted by the next parliamentary elections?

- For the time being, no agreement was reached by members of the governing coalition, so that reform of the political system is practically blocked. The reform is necessary, since the current political players, processes and institutions enjoy very poor reputation in our civic community.
- What is the impact of the blockade on the citizens who are outside of politics?

- This, naturally, has an impact on the general state of our society, as well as on its enthusiasm, moral, optimism and its belief in better days. That is why we need reform, which will decrease the power that political parties wield today and which will, simultaneously, provide new legitimacy to the politics in Serbia and have a crucial influence on its quality.

- Do you expect that the security and safety situation in South Serbia will deteriorate following the UN General Assembly’s session?

- At any rate, we shouldn’t lose sight of the complexity of the situation in these municipalities, as well as of the fact that there used to be armed conflicts there. We should also be aware that there are some persons who are against stabilization of the situation.