Saturday, 30 September 2006

First Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006

The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, convened the First Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006 for 8 pm on Saturday 30 September.



The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, convened the First Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006 for 8 pm on Saturday 30 September.

The following one-item agenda was proposed for the sitting:


    - Proposal of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, with its associated Proposal of the Decision Calling a Republic Referendum to Confirm the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, proposed by 231 deputies.

Mr Markovic invited the President of the Republic of Serbia, Boris Tadic, to attend the sitting, which was also attended by the Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, and Serbian cabinet ministers.

Addressing the National Assembly at the start of the discussion, President Tadic expressed his pleasure at the broad consent of all political factors in parliament for the adoption of the nation’s highest legal document, meaning that the new Constitution comprised the values of all who took part in its drafting. At the same time, according to Tadic, it was very important for Serbia to have declared itself a society wishing to belong to European principles and values.

Tadic underlined that the new Constitution, a marked improvement over all previous ones, expressed the developmental character of Serbia’s society and state, and defined Serbia as a nation protecting the rights of individuals, communities, ethnicities, and minorities. ‘I have insisted’, Tadic said, ‘for the Constitution to be given a European character, to define Serbia not just as a Republic of the Serb people and all citizens living in it, but also to underscore the principles of civic democracy, human and minority rights and freedoms – put simply, to stress adherence to European values and orientation towards European integrations’.

Tadic stressed as key the need for Serbia to form all its institutions, as an independent nation and a member of the UN, to be able to fully converse with the international community in its capacity as a state.

Addressing the deputies, the Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, underlined that the adoption of a constitution was a historic act for any nation, and all the more so for Serbia at this time, ‘when two of the most important national and state aims have naturally melded into one’.

‘The new Constitution establishes Serbia as a legally ordered country, and sets seal on the fact that Kosovo and Metohia has always been, and would always remain, an integral part of Serbia’s territory’, Kostunica remarked.

Reiterating the fact that the present convocation of the National Assembly had adopted a large number of important laws, Kostunica said that these would only acquire their full meaning with the adoption of the new Constitution, as they would become integral parts of a large, ordered whole. ‘So that Serbia could develop, progress, and become a functional state, and so that its citizens could live well, we have worked together to make a firm and mighty foundation, the Constitution, of Serbia our house’, Kostunica emphasised, adding that the deputies, as proposers of the Constitution, and the Government had a historic responsibility for adopting it. ‘It was the deputies who had asked for the Constitution to be passed immediately, in defence of Kosovo and Metohia as Serbia’s essential national interest, so that this could confirm that Kosovo and Metohia was a part of Serbia’, the Prime Minister added.

Expressing his gratitude to the deputies for being part of the attainment of ‘this great goal’, Kostunica especially underscored that the adoption of the Constitution meant Serbia would become the ‘architect of its own destiny’, and that the Constitution would mean ‘a rebirth’ of Serbia.

Speaking from the rostrum of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian President and Prime Minister called on all citizens of Serbia to turn out for the referendum and vote the new Constitution into effect.

Leaders of the Serbian Radical Party, G17 Plus, Socialist Party of Serbia, New Serbia and Independent Deputies 9+9 Deputies’ Groups, Tomislav Nikolic, Miloljub Albijanic, Ivica Dacic, and Veroljub Stevanovic, hailed the adoption of the new Constitution and reiterated that consent had been reached on all important issues relevant to the nation’s highest legal document. They reminded the gathering of all historic conditions and current pressing problems that had conditioned work on constitutional changes.

They especially underlined that the proposed solutions defined the Republic of Serbia as the state of the Serb people and of all citizens living in it, founded on the rule of law and social justice, the principles of civic democracy, human and minority rights and freedoms, adhering to European principles and values, and having Kosovo and Metohia as an inalienable part of its territory.

They also announced they would lead an active campaign for the referendum, and called on citizens to vote to confirm the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

Summing up the results of work on bringing about the constitutional changes, Predrag Markovic, also Chairman of the Constitutional Issues Committee, thanked everyone who ‘worked tirelessly on the draft of the Constitution’, and contentedly concluded that its adoption would ‘buttress the foundations of Serbia, our house, and mean the start of its reconstruction’.

The National Assembly went on to unanimously adopt the Proposal of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, with 242 votes of the deputies present cast in favour.

The Assembly also adopted the Proposal of the Decision Calling a Republic Referendum to Confirm the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, again unanimously, and again with 242 deputies’ votes cast in favour.

As the National Assembly had finished discussing and voting on the item from the sitting’s agenda, Predrag Markovic concluded the First Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006.



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