Wednesday, 14 February 2007

FIRST SITTING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

The first (constituting) sitting of the National Assembly, convened by the Assembly Chairman of the previous convocation, Predrag Markovic, began at 12 pm on 14 February 2007 in the Greater Chamber of Assembly House.



The first (constituting) sitting of the National Assembly, convened by the Assembly Chairman of the previous convocation, Predrag Markovic, began at 12 pm on 14 February 2007 in the Greater Chamber of Assembly House.

The sitting was chaired by the oldest Deputy, Borka Vucic, who was assisted by four youngest Deputies from the four electoral lists winning the greatest number of seats – Nikola Vukelic, representing the Serbian Radical Party – Dr Vojislav Seselj Electoral List; Konstantin Samofalov, representing the Democratic Party – Boris Tadic Electoral List; Borko Ilic, representing the Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia – Dr Vojislav Kostunica Electoral List; and Milan Randjelovic, representing the G17 Plus – Mladjan Dinkic Electoral List, as well as by the National Assembly Secretary, Marko Danilovic.

The National Assembly set the following agenda for the sitting:


    - Verification of Deputies’ mandates;
    - Proposal of the Resolution of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Addressing the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement made by the UN Special Envoy, Martti Ahttisaari, and Concerning Continued Negotiations on the Future Status of Kosovo and Metohia;
    - Election of the Chairperson of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia;
    - Election of Vice Chairpersons of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia;
    - Election of members of working bodies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia;
    - Appointment of the Secretary of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia;
    - The Ministries Bill;
    - Election of the Government.

To verify Deputies’ mandates, the National Assembly formed a Commission charged with tallying Certificates of Election as Deputy and the Election Report of the Republic Electoral Commission. The Commission, made up of Deputies Vjerica Radeta, Nenad Konstantinovic, and Milica Radovic, noted that the Certificates of Election of the 250 newly-elected Deputies were in accord with certificates issued by the Republic Electoral Commission, and reported this finding to the National Assembly.

On the basis of the Commission’s report, the National Assembly verified the mandates of all Deputies.

After the mandates were verified, seven Deputies’ Groups were formed: the Serbian Radical Party – Dr Vojislav Kostunica Deputies’ Group, with Tomislav Nikolic as chairman, and Aleksandar Vucic as vice-chairman; the Democratic Party – Boris Tadic Deputies’ Group, with Dusan Petrovic as chairman and Milan Markovic as vice-chairman; the Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia – Dr Vojislav Kostunica Deputies’ Group, with Milos Aligrudic as chairman, and Miroslav Markicevic as vice-chairman; the G17 Plus Deputies’ Group, with Mladjan Dinkic as chairman, and Verica Kalanovic as vice-chairman; the Socialist Party of Serbia Deputies’ Group, with Ivica Dacic as chairman, and Dr Zarko Obradovic as vice-chairman; the Liberal Democratic Party Deputies’ Group, with Cedomir Jovanovic as chairman, and Nenad Milic as vice-chairman; and the joint Union of Vojvodina Hungarians and List for Sandzak Coalition Deputies Group, chaired by Balint Pastor, with Bajram Omeragic as vice-chairman.

The Assembly went on to discuss the Proposal of the Resolution of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Addressing the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement made by the UN Special Envoy, Martti Ahttisaari, and Concerning Continued Negotiations on the Future Status of Kosovo and Metohia.

This part of the sitting was attended by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic, the outgoing Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, the outgoing Government Ministers, and members of the Serbian Kosovo negotiating team.

At the start of the debate, the Deputies were addressed by Mr Tadic and Mr Kostunica. The President said that the plan put forth by the UN Secretary General’s special envoy, Martti Ahttisaari, opened up the way to Kosovo independence, but that Serbia should still take part in negotiations on the province’s future status, to be held in Vienna. As accepting the Plan would be contrary to the Constitution – as is clearly stated in the proposed Resolution – Mr Tadic called on the Deputies to reject those views stated in Mr Ahttisaari’s plan that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia as an internationally recognised state. Tadic also reiterated that Serbia would not accept independence for Kosovo and Metohia, and wished to reach a mutually acceptable solution by peaceful means and through political negotiation.

The outgoing Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, said that UN chief envoy Ahttisaari’s Plan was ‘a proposal to dismember Serbia’ and called on the Deputies to refuse to be ‘accomplices’ in ‘an assault of force upon justice.’ Presenting the Government’s proposal for solving the problems of Kosovo and Metohia, Mr Kostunica dismissed the Ahttisaari Plan as a ‘proposal to rob Serbia of 15% of its territory, and, contrary to the will of a state, change internationally recognised boundaries,’ adding that the Plan was, ‘both formally and substantially an illegitimate and illegal document.’ Kostunica ended his address by exhorting the Assembly to ‘simply dismiss’ all of the Proposal’s provisions ‘violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia.’

The discussion was taken part in by the chairmen of the Serbian Radical Party, Democratic Party, Democratic Party of Serbia – New Serbia, Socialist Party of Serbia, and Liberal Democratic Party Deputies’ Groups, Tomislav Nikolic, Dusan Petrovic, Milos Aligrudic, Ivica Dacic, and Cedomir Jovanovic, an the G17 Plus Deputies’ Group vice-chairperson, Verica Kalanovic; as well as by Deputies Aleksandar Vucic, Laszlo Varga, Riza Hallimi, Dr Rajko Djuric, Srdjan Sajn, Zarko Obradovic, Dr Vladan Batic, Suzana Grubjesic, Vesna Pesic, Miroslav Markicevic, Nenad Canak, Dragan Todorovic, Natasa Micic, Zvonimir Stevic, Stojanka Petkovic, Vuko Antonijevic, Natasa Jovanovic, Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic, Zvonko Mihajlovic, Miloljub Albijanic, Zoran Krasic, Borko Ilic, Otto Kismarton, and Dusan Prorokovic.,Božidar Đelić,Jovan Damjanović, Nemanja Šarović and Vjerica Radeta.

After the discussion finished, the National Assembly adopted the Proposal of the Resolution of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Addressing the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement made by the UN Special Envoy, Martti Ahttisaari, and Concerning Continued Negotiations on the Future Status of Kosovo and Metohia, with 225 votes in favour, 15 against, and three abstentions.

The Deputies are to be advised when the National Assembly’s sitting is to continue at a later date.



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