Parties in Serbia react to the proposal for European Parliament’s mediation

National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BELGRADE – Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Maja Gojković welcomed the initiative of the Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister for the EP to mediate talks between government and the opposition on election conditions. Opposition also reacted positively, although those who have already announced boycott of the 2020 election showed no signs of backing away from the idea.

Speaker of the Parliament Gojković stated that the tentative dates for the first round of talks will be 9 and 10 October, adding that the participants are yet to be determined, but only mentioned parties already represented in the parliament.

Some of the parties gathered in the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) have been formed only after 2016 parliamentary elections, and even though some MPs have since joined their ranks, most of them are boycotting the sessions of the parliament.

Despite that fact, SzS expressed willingness to join the talks.

„If the European Parliament invites us to talks about election conditions we will come but, if the parliament speaker invites us we won’t.”, N1 was told by opposition Alliance for Serbia (SzS) chairman, Boško Obradović.

He said the SzS welcomes McAllister’s initiative but feels that comes too late fore the election in Mach next year.

“Mediating in dialogue would not postpone boycott campaign, or change the decision to boycott the elections”, SzS announced.

The emphasized that they would not give up the recommendations for improving election conditions, and that they are bound by the signed Agreement with the People, signed last winter. If these demands are not accepted, the SzS will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The only other political party surveyed to have more than 5% of support, Free Citizens Movement, has still not decided whether to boycott the election.

“We believe that the EU has shown respect for the citizens of Serbia, by accepting and supporting a proposal that President Sergej Trifunović on behalf of the PSG put forward to David McAllister”, the Free Citizens Movement said, welcoming this initiative of the EP.

They are inviting all opposition parties, although some of them, gathered around the SzS, have already announced the boycott, to participate in an EP-mediated dialogue if it happens.