October 7-8, 2002, 18.00hrs
Media on Forthcomming Local Elections in Kosovo and Metohija
Head of Povratak Rada Trajkovic said that the Serbs do not have conditions for taking part in the local elections in Kosovo, scheduled for 26 October. “A poor turnout of Serbs in the elections would be used by UNMIK chief Michael Steiner to claim that there not as many Serbs in Kosovo as claimed by the Serbian community,” said Trajkovic. Member of the Kosovo Parliament Presidency, Oliver Ivanovic said that, “nowhere in the world are elections held under conditions such as in Kosovo.” “There are no security guarantees for Serbs, nor any kind of protection in the Kosovo institutions,” said Ivanovic. He said that the decision to participate or boycott the elections must be reached unanimously and be valid for all Kosovo Serbs. Vice-president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) Marko Jaksic said that Steiner is still blackmailing the Serbs. “He is offering separate solutions for Kosovska Mitrovica and forgetting the Serbs confined to the other enclaves. Steiner is forgetting that since participating in last year’s elections, the Serbs have gained only safe stay, free lodging and food in Albanian prisons,” said Jaksic.
Momcilo Trajkovic, head of the Serbian Resistance Movements from Kosovo (SPOT) said that his party has registered to participate in the local elections, but said that it is also prepared to boycott. Trajkovic said that the decision on participating or boycotting must be made in Belgrade. He criticised Serbian Deputy Premier Nebojsa Covic, over his statement that the Kosovo Serbs must themselves decide on whether to take part in the elections. “Covic’s statement is extremely cynical. He pushed us into the mud and cannot avoid responsibility for all the promises and empty stories,” said Trajkovic. President of the Serbian Resistance Movement (SPO) for Kosovo, Randjel Nojkic said that the Serbs should not take part in the elections until they receive firm guarantees. Representatives of all Serbian parties and associations from Kosovo will meet in Sopocani on Tuesday, and discuss whether to take part or boycott the October 26 elections.
Belgrade, Oct. 7, 2002 -
Coordinating centre for Kosovo-Metohija head Nebojsa Covic proposed
today that the plan drawn up by Michael Steiner, head of the UN Interim
Administration Mission in Kosovo-Metohija, for decentralisation and
the resolution of the situation in Kosovska Mitrovica, should be amended
with eight "detailed principles"
the meeting of the high working group held on 3 October of this year
in Prishtina we did not manage to talk about such important issue –
concept of decentralisation, which was on the agenda of that meeting.
I hope that we will review this topic in the next meeting, which will
be held in Belgrade soon. If you remember I told you that seven points
are interesting proposal to start the talks on this issue and that for
that the agreement is needed. I was surprised when I heard your statement
after our meeting “on uniting two parts of Mitrovica.” As
you know in the meeting Mitrovica was not mentioned in the context of
“cultural multiethnic containers.” Our stance regarding
Mitrovica was and will always remain the same: We see Mitrovica united
town as the other Kosovo towns, within which the municipality is functioning.
Our joint topic should be more principle and general and this is the
concept of decentralisation for Kosovo, because with it we solve wider
problem than Mitrovica. That is the reason why I am writing to you.
It’ a pity that you have opened such an important issue on the
eve of the local elections, because the impression is that you do this
more to motivate the Serbs to participate in the elections. You know
that last year, the Serbs participated in the parliamentarian elections
thanks to the agreement signed with Haekkerup. Now, it is almost identical
situation, but unfortunately it is worst situation because that agreement
did not give expected results on the most important issue such as the
return of displaced Serbs and other non- Albanian population to Kosovo.
I stress this because I am sure that the Serbs will participate in the
local elections in a considerable number only if the agreement on decentralisation
and self-governance is reached before the elections. As a person who
knows the situation of the Serb community in Kosovo very well, I am
afraid that the level of their trust in your ad-hoc verbal guarantees
is equal to zero. However I think that they would be ready to join the
process of the compilation of regulation and creation of decentralisation
institutions only if UNMIK, FRY and Republic of Serbia, respectively
the Co-ordination Centre for Kosovo in accordance with Resolution 1244
took part if in the process of the co-operation. Any other approach
to the issue would be a failure of the participation of the Serbs in
the local elections as it was two years ago. Because of that I propose
to discuss the issue of definition of this agreement in the next meeting
of the high working group. In this context your ideas included in seven
points are welcomed, but they should be added, elaborated and well justified."
Service of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren