Sunday, 21 January 2007

National Assembly Chairman’s post-election speech

Ladies and gentlemen,Polls closed fifteen minutes ago in the first parliamentary election in Serbia as an independent nation, and the first after the adoption of Serbia’s new Constitution.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Polls closed fifteen minutes ago in the first parliamentary election in Serbia as an independent nation, and the first after the adoption of Serbia’s new Constitution.

These are all reasons why this election could be called historic or decisive. For the state, and, I believe, also for all citizens who fought for democracy for years, it is much more important to note that this election was a regular one, that the two-month campaign was within the limits of decency, that turnout was high, and that the result will be an incontestable decision of the citizens, as well as the representation in parliament of both political alternatives and national minorities. This is why I would like to again thank all those who confirmed Serbia’s democratic maturity by turning out to vote today, and also to thank all those who observed and monitored the election.

I have another piece of good news for all parties that took part in the campaign. Most of the laws they promised already exist. They have either already been adopted, or are in Assembly procedure.

I also have another piece of news. The way the National Assembly operates has changed; when selecting deputies, parties will have to take care that these are not people who simply attend sittings to make it possible to make decisions, but, rather, people who are able to affect laws – as the Assembly will have a great deal of work resulting from the Constitution and the Constitutional Act. These grant it powers over defence and foreign policy, which is why the new Rules of Procedure make it possible to work in two buildings and three chambers for regular sittings. This year, Serbia and the delegations of its Assembly face chairing the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and, probably, a sitting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the establishment of the Stability Pact’s regional office.

One stage in developing parliamentarianism and building the nation has finished, but we are all facing much greater efforts and many more difficult decisions. This is why it is important for the new convocation of the Assembly to be constituted, and for it to elect its Chairperson and working bodies, and, as soon as possible, elect a new Government and start establishing institutions that should implement already adopted legislation more quickly.

At the same time, I would like to inform both the public and parties that there are no obstacles within the judiciary to implementing results of today’s election, either in obtaining final results or in verifying deputies’ mandates, as the matter was clearly defined by the Constitution and the Constitutional Act, and as government bodies will act accordingly.

I wish success to all parties that have taken part in the election; I wish them to take the results with dignity; and, finally, it will be my pleasure to convene a constituting sitting of the new convocation as quickly as possible.

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